The Men's Shed movement began in Australia in the early 1990s where, as here in the UK, there are large numbers of older men not joining in community activities and frequently living alone. Whilst there are many different reasons for this, they include that men have an expectation of being self-reliant and of meeting their own needs. It is also recognised that coming to the end of a working life can present particular challenges for men including loss of role, status, workmates, income etc which many find it hard to adapt to. Finding a way of working, alongside others and with a purpose in view but without imposed demands can be exactly what some men need.
Background to Men's Sheds
Sheds are about the creation of communities of older men who support each other and the wider local community. They are about having fun, sharing skills and knowledge with like-minded people and gaining a renewed sense of purpose and belonging. As a by-product of all of that, they can help to reduce the feelings of isolation and loneliness which some men experience. They allow men to deal with mental and physical health challenges more easily, they rebuild communities and in many cases, they save men’s lives.
Billy Connelly Visits a Men's Shed
Woking & District Men's Shed is affiliated to UK Men’s Sheds Association, the support body for Men’s Sheds across the UK.
UKMSA provides support and guidance to individuals and groups across the UK in starting and managing Men’s Sheds. It raises awareness of the social and health benefits of Men’s Sheds in reducing isolation, loneliness and in empowering local communities and it supports the growth of Men’s Sheds.
There are presently approximately 1000 Men's Sheds in the UK, either open or in development.
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