The Men's Shed movement started in Australia and spread like wildfire. The movement grew fast as a social and workshop environment for men of all ages from 18-90+ who found themselves retired, out of work, and/or with disabilities or just plain bored. They had time on their hands and the Men's Shed movement was born.
The Men's Shed concept has proved exciting and useful. A group of men get together, decide what and where they want to have a Shed and the men themselves make it happen. The organisation becomes a not for profit charity thereby being duly constituted with a board and members.
So a Shed is a community within a community and becomes part of the larger social structure, designing, making and distributing, for example, park benches or memorials. The men decide, based on the skills they have, what form these community projects take.
Men can feel marginalised or not very useful when older or just needing to get out of the house for a while. The Shed provides not just an escape but a place to meet other men, enjoy social company and either pass on their own skills or learn new ones.
Being operated by the men themselves, this gives the incentive to make the Shed a success, but there is no one in charge, the men run the charity by committee and all have equal say.
The men set up the organisation then need to find funding and premises. So commitment is required and the rewards to be gained from successfully establishing and operating a Men's Shed are huge. There are not many Sheds in Scotland yet but the movement is growing and Inverurie and District Men's Shed will be at the forefront following the great success of the first Shed in Scotland at Westhill, Aberdeenshire.
The men come together in a place where they can socialise, build a workshop for whatever purpose, perhaps even polytunnels etc for horticultural purposes. They help each other and also get help. Although each Shed is different, they usually incorporate a social area comprising whatever interests the men have, be it card playing, scrabble, perhaps a pool or billiards table and space for craft work or reading. It really does give the men the opportunity to make it for whatever they want to do. This goes for the workshop which can be used for any purpose and may include equipment for wood working eg lathes and drills, metal working and model building. Facilities are usually available facilities for snacks, teas and coffee.
Our Shed receives support from CVA Aberdeenshire and Aberdeenshire Council so we are not alone in our quest to establish and maintain a Men's Shed for the good of the men in Inverurie and District.