The benefits of a partner, father and Grandfather attending a Men’s Shed can have significant positive impacts on their partner and their family, let alone the community. In this section we have asked some of the Shedders wives to share their perspective of Men’s Sheds and how it has affected their lives.
What is a Men’s Shed
Women & Family
Women and Family
My husband has asked me to write a few words to say how the men’s shed benefits not only the men who use it, but their wives, partners & family.
Apart from the obvious benefit of getting them out of the house, it also gives the men a reason to get out and about.
Most men, when stuck indoors for any length of time – whether due to accident, illness, retirement or redundancy become lethargic and less & less inclined to go out of the house, take part in leisure activities such as golf, fishing, swimming etc. As a result they start to eat less healthily and subsequently their health suffers. Depression is another problem. Due to the lack of interaction with work colleagues, friends and even their neighbours, they become more withdrawn, so they end up at the local surgery where the inevitable tablets are dispensed and so they start the downward spiral.
Going to the men’s shed opens up a whole new vista. Suddenly they have an eclectic mix of men to socialise with. They feel more able to discuss any problems they may have, in a way that they would not be able to share with their wife, partner or family.
A classic example of helping one of the shed is Bob. When he first arrived, he was depressed, unwilling to open up about that he was missing his late wife. Within a couple of weeks, with a little encouragement, he was working on restoring a table and chatting away with the guys. When he was awarded his North Atlantic medal from President Putin, he was delighted and could not wait to share his news with his friends at the shed!
The men at the shed appreciate the fact that it is an all male environment, as this means that they can be open in what they discuss, can swear if a finger is hit with hammer and do not feel that they must either dress up for the occasion or even talk if they don’t want to!
The local community also benefits from the men’s shed as they can and have helped with various initiatives to help the local schools, businesses etc.
Of course I cannot omit what a great time the wives and partners have at the social evenings! We have made some really good friends at theses nights as well as enjoying some first class food!
I hope this gives you an idea of what the Men’s Shed means to not only the men but to their friends and family.
I’m so glad to see my husband go out two or three times a week to the Men’s Shed (or as I call it ‘The Old Boys Shed’), and speak to some of his friends who are younger, older, or really old, and he comes back to me and says, “look what I have made!” (A Spurtle),One Two…? NO IT WAS REALLY SIX ☺ . I tied some tartan ribbon round them and gave them out as Christmas presents, how lucky am I to have a husband who learned to do that at the MEN SHED, taught by some of the other guys. My husband was a Chef and he taught the men how to ‘cook for one’ as some of them were single and others widowers.
My husband is also my carer, as I suffer from M.S. and have a side passage(stoma bag), and I do like to have some time to myself as I am a singer, I sang with an organisation of 100 women (Sweet Adelines) (no men).
But I am a happy woman of 67 and enjoy socialising a few times a year at the Men Shed. As the old saying goes, ‘if it aint broke, don’t try and fix it!’
We hope that all our ladies whether you be wives, partners, daughters or friends in Scotland will become members of our national association, the Scottish Men’s Sheds Association. Support it’s aims by telling others about it and encourage the men in your lives and who you meet to go along to their local Shed or start one up if there isn’t one.
The Scottish Women’s Institute (www.theswi.org.uk) is Scotland’s leading member based organisation (approx. 17,722 members) created by women in 1917, designed to bring women together, with a vision to welcome every woman in Scotland to join them.
They are here to educate, to share, to campaign, to learn, to socialise, to build a community and of course, to have fun.
From life skills and arts and crafts to raising awareness of current affairs affecting women and helping inform government issues, the SWI is proud of its heritage and its future vision.
Clearly us men are a little bit slower of realising the above benefits and which we also now aim to achieve within the SMSA. If you haven’t heard of the SWI we encourage you to have a look at their website and maybe you would like to join them to.