MEN's Sheds receive honours at health and wellbeing awards

Over one hundred men’s sheds members from across Ireland today received awards in recognition of their hard work and dedication to the ‘Sheds for Life’ health and wellbeing programme, run by the Irish Men’s Sheds Association (IMSA).

Sheds for Life is a community-based health promotion programme aimed at supporting the physical, mental and social wellbeing of men’s sheds members. The programme works to address some of the serious health inequalities that exist for men in Ireland.

Sheds for Life reached over 420 men across ten-weeks of health and wellbeing workshops, addressing topics such as heart health, healthy eating, mental health promotion and digital literacy.

Sheds from Kildare, Waterford, Louth and Limerick were all honoured in the Ashling Hotel in Dublin City Centre, with Irish track legend and Olympian David Gillick presenting the awards.

Speaking to a crowded room of 150 shedders, Mr Gillick commended the men:

“You are all a credit to sheds across Ireland for not just taking part in this programme, but for giving an incredible level of commitment to Sheds for Life. I hope that you all take what you have learned in the programme and continue to use these essential skills to improving your health and wellbeing.”

Health and Wellbeing Manager with IMSA, Edel Byrne also commented:

“The Sheds for Life programme has received an overwhelming positive response from sheds across Ireland and is making a real difference in improving men’s physical and mental wellbeing.

“Our findings from Sheds for Life so far show that the programme is enriching the social aspects of men’s sheds and providing the opportunity for men to talk about health and wellbeing within the supportive and informal setting of a men’s shed.

“We’re now looking forward to rolling out the programme this year in Roscommon, Leitrim and Meath due to its success with the sheds.”

Sheds for Life is funded through HSE Health and Wellbeing and the Sláintecare Integration Fund, with Fergal Fox from HSE Health and Wellbeing commenting:

“I’d like to add my congratulations to the men for opening their doors and engaging in such a meaningful way with their own health and wellbeing. Our ongoing support for Sheds for Life and the IMSA are key parts of our work to improve men’s health through our Healthy Ireland Men Action Plan.”

Muriel Farrell, Programme Lead for Sláintecare noted Sheds for Life’s success:

“It is fantastic to see a recipient of the Sláintecare Integration Fund provide such a targeted and beneficial programme that is in line with Sláintecare’s objective of promoting the engagement and empowerment of citizens in the care of their own health.

“Sláintecare Integration Funding will support the delivery of over 400 follow-up health checks with participating sheds across the 2019 Sheds for Life programme, while also assisting with the expansion of the 2020 programme to sheds across counties Leitrim, Roscommon and Meath.“

A full evaluation of Sheds for Life is currently underway in partnership with the Irish Research Council, Waterford Institute of Technology and the National Centre for Men’s Health at IT Carlow, as well as a range of other major health organisations.