15 November 2015

Earlier this week, Scotland Country Manager Emily attended the launch of the Scottish Men's Sheds Association (SMSA)....

A garden shed.

So here’s the concept: a Men’s Shed is a place where men gather across the age spectrum, with tools (and tea, and sometimes soup or spaghetti, though I don’t think that’s a pre-requisite) to blether, make stuff, pass on their skills and knowledge. Basically, Sheds are places to pass the time in a thoroughly enjoyable, men focused environment.

Now, the key thing for me is that, as a woman, I don’t feel excluded from this movement. In fact, I’m a fully signed up member of the SMSA. Just as I believe in equality, I believe in providing spaces where people can be with other folk of their preferred gender. I’m a Brownie Leader, and that’s all about the girls, quite purposefully. The research has different things to say about whether the physical structure of the brains of men and women differ. Generally, though, there are differences in the way we act as we age. Women are more likely to stay socially active after retirement, whereas men are more likely to see less of their peers.

We could debate the whys and wherefores, but what Men’s Sheds do, and have been doing world-wide for the last ten or more years, is provide a friendly space where men can feel comfortable, purposeful and engaged. And where those who are retired can pass on their ideas and experience to younger men who might need to hear from someone who’s been there and done that.

We wanted to say a big ‘Hello and Welcome’ to the Scottish Men’s Shed’s Association, but also to pass this idea on to all of you. We’re all about getting folk together with a common purpose and creating community, and if that happens in a shed, well, why not?

Men's Sheds is a global movement, so chances are you can find one in your area. Check out the Scottish Men's Sheds Association here, the UK Men's Sheds Association and the Wales Men's Sheds website here to find a Shed in your local area.