MB50 is proud to be supporting the UK Men’s Shed Association, which was launched nationally on November 6th.
‘SHEDDERS’: SEND US YOUR STORIES!
We are going to feature a Men’s Sheds Corner here to help spread the word about Men’s Sheds, and encourage all ‘Shedders’ to share the stories; tell your personal stories of how your lives have been changed by joining a Men’s Shed, engage us with your Shed project triumphs and disasters, compare different approaches to your projects and perspectives on what you get up to in your Shed, and raise and debate some of your major issues and concerns.
ABOUT THE MBSA
The Shed Movement started in Australia 13 years ago where there are now over 900, and in Ireland in just 4 years there are 115. In the UK there are still only 31 (with another 30 in the pipeline) and we predict a massive growth in the next few years as the idea catches fire!
The great beauty of the Shed Movement is its flexibility. Each different Shed project is created by local men to be exactly what they need and to provide exactly what they want. The main thing is for sheds to offer men the opportunity to carry on doing work in an inclusive way and in well equipped spaces, but there are many activities Shed members can get up to if they want to! It is a ‘social franchise’ movement, and the job of the UKMSA is to act as an umbrella organisation promoting the concept, providing advice with a start-up guide and other information ‘toolkits’, and practical support with insurance and sourcing building materials or equipment… and everything else!
MEETING OLDER MEN’S NEEDS
Over 150 people attended the UKMSA launch. The central focus was about meeting older men’s needs and a key aim of the association is to help to counter the detrimental health effects of retirement (see Institute of Economic Affairs ‘Work Longer, Live Healthier’). So not surprisingly Age UK and a number of other major UK charity/community organisations involved with older people were also there at the launch, and at MB50 we confidently expect the Shed Movement to grow rapidly as it creates partnerships with these in future.
Kenny and Max from MB50 were at the launch, and we noticed that while the majority of those there were older men, there were also some younger men, and some women as well. We joined in lots of conversations and heard a wide range of opinions, and we expect that there will be a very broad spectrum of viewpoints in the UK Shed Movement; not just about practical stuff or the needs and priorities for older men, but also the relationship each Shed has with younger men and with women (‘intergenerational’ and ‘intergender’ stuff to use the jargon words!), and other issues where different views will all want and need to be expressed….
PARTICIPATE IN OUR MEN’S SHED CORNER
MB50 would welcome hearing and holding all of your viewpoints here on our new Men’s Sheds Corner:
- Tell us your personal stories
- Share your contacts, systems and strategies
- Champion your preferred approaches and opinions
- Raise your issues
- Debate your concerns and viewpoints
We look forward to welcoming all ‘Shedders’, and supporting your diversity of views!
NEED MORE HELP OR ADVICE?
If you would like help to find out your nearest local Men’s Shed, or advice about setting up a shed contact the UKMSA, or Alys Exley who runs 3 Peabody sheds (0207 021 4137 / firstname.lastname@example.org)