The latest research paper ‘Men’s Shed in Scotland; the potential for improving the health of men’ from Glasgow Caledonian University’s three-year Sheds for Sustainable Development Project has now been published in the Journal of Public Health Policy.
Recently policy has focused on the role of community-based organisations and the ways that they are tackling local health issues, such as social isolation and loneliness.
Men’s Sheds have been recognised for the health and wellbeing impacts they have on those who use them, therefore, questions have been raised over their ability to become deliverers of formal healthcare to ‘hard to reach’ men in communities.
With this in mind, a study was conducted with Sheds in Scotland to identify challenges to Shed sustainability and development that may affect their ability to deliver formal healthcare.
Findings showed that a reliance on ageing and retired volunteers to undertake operational tasks and generate income to fund activities affected the ability of Sheds to sustain and develop.
Shed members also did not wish their Sheds to become formal healthcare deliverers, preferring to keep their activities informal and flexible to fit with the needs of their members.
In conclusion, although Sheds are recognised for their health and wellbeing benefits to men, policymakers must recognise that formalising their activities might detract from the Shed’s primary aims. Therefore, there must be a consideration of tensions that exist in placing expectations of Sheds to expand their remit and formalise into service delivery.
Dr Danielle Hutcheon (nee Kelly)
Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health
Glasgow Caledonian University