A Shed? What and why?
Sheds are not gimmicks. They really do help men at a loss, demotivated and isolated. The negative impact on wellbeing is often depression – but we are all good at hiding it from others and even ourselves. When you have a purpose for getting out of bed in the morning, it’s far more easy to do!
A Women’s Shed is not a gimmick. The She Shed is based on results and outcomes of Sleights Area Men’s Shed (SAMS) with respect to men, but also the experience of several women who have attended, effectively as guinea pigs. The question may be whether women take to a Shed atmosphere with workshop activities, finding similar personal benefits as men? The answer is yes, for some women just as for some men!
What is it that draws someone to a community Shed?
The home of Men’s Sheds is Australia. They are a phenomenon of the last 15 years or so. Research published by the Australian Government (‘Men’s Sheds in Australia’, 2007) sheds light (forgive the pun) on the draw of The Shed for men.
- Those over 65 are significantly more likely than younger men to go to the shed for social reasons. While not having access to a private shed where they live is one factor affecting some men, a need for the friendship of other men in a place that affirms positive aspects about being men would appear to be the most important factor that leads men to participate.
- Men enjoy and benefit from the lack of compulsion, opportunities for mentoring and sociability associated with the shed as well as a strong sense of belonging and improving their health and wellbeing.
- Men enjoy the opportunity to ‘get out of the house’, and almost all ‘feel at home’ in the Shed.
- Men experience a range of very positive benefits as a result of participating; feeling better about themselves, being happier at home, having a strong sense of belonging and enjoyment,
- Men greatly appreciate the opportunity to be accepted by, and give back to, the community through what they make or do.
We believe that the findings for men in Sheds apply to women too.
Most men and women benefit from being connected with others beyond the four walls of home, to belong and to matter, to share skills, to gain new ones and to be involved in something engrossing that distracts from the everyday.
Life may be disrupted, suddenly or gradually. That’s how women and men often become isolated and disconnected from “feel good” influences; it happens to both sexes.
Where are we going with Sheds?
We hope that in the relatively near future we