Yesterday was a good day. I spoke up for the Men’s Sheds meeting at the University of Worcester as per planned and met many interesting people passionate about growing the recognition that men in particular need a space to share their lives after work. Men’s Sheds helps in many areas and that also includes unofficial areas of health care and wellbeing through socialising and such like. What an amazing thing such simplicity brings but the reason for its success is the behind the scenes people volunteering into it.. For many if not most of the members it has indeed been life-changing to discover a space to work with others in a supportive and nurturing environment where the stresses and strains of retirement, ill health and so on can be melted down in some kind of creative sphere of sanity.
The Men’s Sheds movement continues to grow and at an amazing rate. This week the opening of the 500th UK Men’s Shed showed the demand and the success rate. That’s a 66% growth rate in just 3 years, which shows the need. Indeed the community ethos behind Men’s Sheds has been highly effective at reducing loneliness and social isolation in areas right across the country, including among the elderly and retired. Some health care providers working with depression and anxiety issues and more now offer an option, take prescribed medication on the one hand or join a social enterprise like a Men’s Sheds group near home. The testimony I heard time and time again yesterday was how each individual there had been helped by someone to come out of themselves and share their lives with others.