Men in Sheds

‘Men in Sheds’ is a project specifically for men aged 50 years and over. It provides a space both indoors and outdoors where men can work together on a range of practical activities. Activities can be anything from woodworking, repairing things to gardening.

The group can put their skills and experience to good use, share their knowledge, learn new skills and generally put the world to rights over a cup of tea and some tasty biscuits. The men will come from a wide variety of backgrounds ranging from highly skilled to those with little or no experience, but all working together with a role for everyone. 

What are the benefits of joining the Men in Sheds project?

It gives men the chance to:

- Make new friends

- Experience the camaraderie of working with other men

- Put practical skills to good use and also share them with others

- Try something new and learn new skills. Support their local community

- Learn about other activities and services in the area

- Support and encourage other men to get involved

- To enjoy the Shed, have a laugh and have something to look forward to

It is scientific research that will provide men with the perfect excuse to join their mates in a Shed. A leading psychologist claims men’s health and well-being are greatly improved if they see their friends twice a week.

Professor Robin Dunbar of Oxford University claims in a report that while ‘talking with mates’ on a daily basis is valuable, to experience the real benefits of friendship men must meet up in person twice a week with four friends and ‘do stuff’.

Recommended activities range from playing games, sharing activities or simply sharing a joke together over a drink.

The report says that men who maintain social groups are healthier, recover from illness more quickly and tend to be happier. Despite the findings, two out of five men claim they manage to meet their friends only once a week and a further third struggle to catch up that frequently. However, the research proves men need to actually get together in person to prevent the quality of their friendships eroding and, more importantly, experience the benefits associated with strong male bonds.

Men, on average, spend just less than half of their social time with an inner circle of four to five close mates – and research suggests that this is linked directly to the banter that such a group inspires and its benefits.

As we get older, men’s networks of friends becomes less and a feeling of isolation and lethargy can occur. The opportunities to meet and make friends with other men become less and so the Shed is a great opportunity to reverse this trend.

The Shed groups tend to be formed around small groups of men working together and having fun companionship and a good time.

Professor Dunbar, whose report was commissioned by Guinness, said: ‘Bonds can be formed through a range of activities from team activities to male banter – or simply having a pint with your pals on a Friday night. However, the key to maintaining strong friendships is to meet up twice a week and do stuff with your friends.

Stephen O’Kelly, from Guinness, said: ‘When guys get together face to face and more frequently with their mates, their friendships become stronger, better and a richer life results.’

Roger Jones from Age Concern Central Lancashire and The National Older Men’s Network tells us that as we get older men can become more isolated and lose contact with other males. The Shed gives the men an opportunity to be part of something enjoyable, make friends, get involved, have some fun and have something to look forward to each week.

The writer Danny Wallace said: ‘Science is telling us men to have more fun together and do more stuff. This is great news, for we must obey science.’

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