What's a Men's Shed?

The name “Men’s Sheds” comes from the idea that a backyard shed is a space where men often go to work on projects. and escape life stresses.

A Men's Shed provides: "Somewhere to go. Something to do. Someone to talk to."

It's Men Helping Men

A Men's Shed provides a safe and friendly environment where men can work on meaningful projects. Men work at their own pace, in their own time, in the company of other men.

It's a place where you can learn or teach new skills and find new opportunities and interests while making new friends.

A Shed offers men an alternate way to reach out to avoid 'isolation' while giving back to society.

Click on the above links to read, then don't forget to come back here as we have a lot more to cover.

A Men's Shed is a community-based, not-for-profit, non-commercial organization accessible to all men.

The core values of the Men’s Shed movement are equality and inclusion regardless of age, religion, cultural background, ability, sexual orientation, income, or employment status.

We require that attendees treat each other with respect, tolerance and understanding.

Nine Benefits of a
Men's Shed

What takes place at a Men's Shed?

It's a place where men with time on their hands and too few friends meet to socialize, to work on rewarding projects, and to engage in enjoyable physical and cultural activities at their own pace, in their own time, in the company of other men.

At a Men's Shed some men learn, some teach, and some are happy to watch.

Some sheds will focus on a single activity, and others may have many. Activities, projects and goals may change in time, but doing things usually remains the focus that draws guys together.

Here is a partial list of activities that your Shed might include:

• Drop-in – socialize with coffee/tea.
• Bikes and bike repair.
• Woodworking, Metalworking.
• Auto and small engine repair.
• Cooking.
• Gardening.
• Mentoring and skill-sharing.
• Walking or hiking.
• Activism and community involvement.
• Volunteering.
• Music – listening and playing.
• Culture-specific events/activities.
• Workshops with guests.
• Watch topic-specific videos followed by discussion.
• Computers/technology workshops.
• Home repair.
• Health-related discussions and guest speakers
or anything you want it to be. It's about getting out of the house, hanging with other guys, teaching, learning, growing and having fun.

Sheds don't always have a workshop

Social-only Sheds

Many men have spent a lifetime avoiding things that make sawdust or flying metal sparks or release the "magic smoke" from electronics. They have no interest in starting now.

Some live in their heads or in the arts they love. Many have been wrapped in fine clothing and the trappings of power (people, not machines). But they, too, can suffer from isolation or lack of direction during retirement.

A Shed's goal is to improve mental health and happiness by getting its members out of the house and re-engaging with society. That can take many forms that need not include a physical shed.

Social Only Sheds are alright too!

Building an Online Community

Canada is a big place, crossing six time zones. It's not always possible for men with common interests to get together physically.

The COVID and Zoom experience have taught us that, while not as good as face-to-face meetings, online meetings are better than no meetings at all.

It has also taught us that online communities form around areas of interest, independent of physical location.

We aim to serve that group of unserviced men in places too remote or sparsely populated to form a physical shed by collecting a set of internet tools to enable men to form or join one or more "Virtual Sheds." and Discussion Forums.

We are aware that "sparsely populated" generally means slow internet speed, so Zooming will be a challenge. We will work to create an online presence which is text and images based for low-bandwidth members.

It won't be the first thing that we do, but it might be the best thing that we do for our brothers in the North.

Men’s Sheds are good for your health!

Between November 2017 and June 2018, UKMSA carried out a survey to discover the impact Sheds can have for Shedders and what difference they are making across the UK.

With over 470 Sheds now open, 130 Sheds in development and an estimated 11,000 Shedders, it is clear from the growth of Men’s Sheds and the results of our survey that Men’s Sheds have a positive impact on the well-being of the many Shedders and volunteers who are now involved and the communities they support.

There has been a 47% growth of Sheds in just 2 years, and the health benefits Shedders told us about included alleviation of anxiety, decreases in depression and feelings of loneliness lessened.

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© 2022 Kevin Ford

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