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Case Study: Men's Sheds

Case Study: Men's Sheds

“Men don’t talk face to face; they talk shoulder to shoulder”

This video highlights a Men’s Shed that engaged with the Age Friendly Ireland programme in East Wall, Dublin, and how it makes a difference not only to its members but to the wider community.

A Men’s Shed is any community-based, non-commercial organisation which is open to all men where the primary activity is the provision of a safe, friendly and inclusive environment enabling men to gather and/or work on meaningful projects at their own pace and in the company of others. The primary objective is to advance the health and wellbeing of the participating men.

  • Men’s sheds may look like a shed in your back yard, yet they share some characteristics of both community education centers and health promotion projects.

Some men are reluctant to talk about their emotions and that means that they may not ask for help. Possibly because of this, many men are less healthy than women; they can drink more, take more risks, and they can suffer more from isolation, loneliness and depression.

Good health is based on many factors including feeling good about yourself, being productive, and feeling valued by your community. Having a sense of purpose and contributing to your community are particularly important. Connecting with friends and maintaining an active body and an active mind are also key to a successful ageing experience.

Becoming a member of a Community Men’s Shed gives a man a safe and busy environment where he can find many of these things in an atmosphere of friendship. Most importantly, there is no pressure. Men can visit, have a chat, and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee if that is what they’re looking for.

Members of Men’s Sheds come from all walks of life and the bond that unites them is that they are men with time on their hands, and they would like something meaningful to do with that time. The Men’s Shed movement is a powerful tool in helping men to find their community.

The Irish Men’s Sheds Association was set up in January 2011 to support the development and sustainability of Men’s Sheds in Ireland. However, Men’s Sheds can be found around the world, including locations in Australia, the United Kingdom, and several other European countries.

  • Do you know of any Men’s Sheds in your community? If not, do you have any similar organisations?
  • Why do you think an initiative like this is important for men?
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