The modern Men’s Shed is an updated version of the shed in the backyard that has long been a part of European culture. They officially started in Australia in 1996 under the name of Men’s Sheds. Men’s Sheds are found all over the United Kingdom and now the world.
Not all Men’s Sheds are the same – if you looked inside you might see a number of men drinking tea and coffee and chatting in a comfortable area. If you looked further into the Shed you might see a well equipped workshop with furniture or bicycles for a local school being restored, making bird and bat boxes, fixing lawn mowers or playing cards or a game of pool. You might also see a few young men working with the older men obtaining new skills and learning something about life from the men with whom they work . You will probably also see an area where men can learn to cook for themselves or how to contact their families by computer and even creatively using 3D printers.
So what is so special about the ‘Men’s Shed’?
Most men have learned from our culture that they don’t talk about feelings and emotions many do not take an interest in their own health and well-being. Unlike women, most men are reluctant to talk about their emotions and that means that they usually don’t ask for help. Probably because of this, many men are less healthy than women, drink more, take more risks and suffer more from isolation, loneliness and depression. Relationship breakdown, retrenchment or early retirement from a job, loss of children following divorce, physical or mental illness are just some of the problems that men may find difficult to deal with on their own.