A Man’s shed has, for generations, been a place for him to escape the stress and strains of life; a safe haven to gain much needed sanity; to be surrounded by his own, useful things; a place to think, to make things, to mend things, to invent and be at one with the world and men the world over have done this largely on their own.
There is now a new way for men to pursue their interests, develop new ones, belong to a unique group, feel useful, fulfilled and a sense of belonging. The Men’s Sheds movement has arrived in Wales and Cardiff!
‘Men’s Sheds’ are social groups or enterprises set up in local communities for the benefit of men. The Cardiff Blues Brothers have become the first Rugby Supporters Society in Wales to set up a designated MenShed. The MenShed operates on a matchday and can be found at the Cardiff Blues Brothers Lounge within the South Terrace. Our MenShed is currently designed for Rugby fans all of ages to come together and chat about the game and watch in unison. However, once COVID19 restrictions have been removed and dependent upon member numbers/interest the MenShed could expand to non-matchday’s and onto more practical projects.
‘The Cardiff Blues Brothers Shed is still in its developmental stages, and clearly it is not a great time to get a new social group started, during lockdown and while the Cardiff Arms Park is being used as a field hospital, but we are really excited by the potential for this shed. It could be a great resource, a chance to start a new group, or an opportunity for our existing members. As far as we know this will be the first Men’s Shed group to be hosted by a Rugby club and we can’t wait to see how it develops, and are keen to get things moving just as soon as we can’; Chris Southern Development Officer Men Sheds Cymru.
The MenShed idea originated in Australia 11 years ago and was developed by the health board to tackle growing concerns of social isolation amongst their male population. They identified that high numbers of men had time on their hands (due to retirement, unemployment, illness etc) and these things often manifested themselves in boredom, men suffering in silence with declining mental health and in the worst cases suicide .While various groups and charities do exist to support men, it has been proven that they are less likely to access and accept support. The Men’s Sheds movement is based on the understanding that men are more likely to help themselves and attend something they have set up or have some control over. While they might struggle to talk face to face, men do talk shoulder to shoulder when engaged in some form of activity or shared task.
There are now over 2000 Men’s Shed in Australia. Many of our Celtic cousins will be aware of MenSheds, this initiative is popular in Ireland and development has recently been seen in Scotland. There are almost 70 Men Sheds within Wales with a variety of activities being developed.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Cardiff Blues Brothers MenShed please get in touch with us. We can be contacted via email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, please visit www.mensshedscymru.co.uk