Why Men’s Sheds?
Men do not make friends easily, tending instead to gather acquaintances, many of whom fall away when there is a change in life such as retirement, redundancy, divorce, or bereavement. Whilst women are the majority at community social events, and can often be found out with their friends socialising over a cup of tea or coffee, men don’t find satisfaction in the same things and find it difficult to regenerate a social life following these life-altering events.
Men, however, do gain satisfaction from making and repairing things, which they often do in their garage or shed at home. Be it model-making or other hobbies, woodworking or engineering projects, often drawing upon the skills gained from employment.
Providing a community shed means that they will be able to satisfy their desire to make and repair things, with the added advantage of more involvement with their local community, each other, and their own family. It is this practicality that makes the shed an interesting place to be and most men, initially attracted by the workshop, find it fun to be there, make new friends and (it may seem like a joke but is true) get out from under the feet of the family. Often is is the partners who suggest they go to the shed and encourage them to continue to do so.
Say ‘Men’s Shed’ and most people get the concept within a few minutes; single men know they won’t feel awkward on their own, and all men benefit from the new friendships, camaraderie and renewed sense of purpose they find there. How do we know this? There is a growing body of research into both the social and personal issues experienced by men, and the role that Men’s Sheds can play in addressing these; furthermore, we have also conducted our own surveys at the Westhill Men’s Shed. For further details and the background purpose of sheds please get in touch.
It has been shown that Men’s Sheds reduce depression and other mental health issues in the population of men making for a healthier population. This is the reason sheds are supported by the Scottish Government, Aberdeenshire council (who founded the initiative and have been very supportive of Westhill shed) the NHS and Social health professionals.
After requests from women who wanted to learn the right way to do DIY and be safe we started the She Shed. We run sessions on a Monday evening for the She Shedders.