The emerging Men’s Sheds movement in the UK will be the subject of a conference at Leicester University on Thursday 29 September 2011 – and well as being featured at The First National Conference for Men and Boys to be hosted by The Men’s Network in November
Men’s Sheds are big in Australia (click here for website) and are community facilities that are designed to help connect men with their communities and mainstream society and at the same time act as a catalyst in stimulating their community’s economic activities. At the same time Men’s Sheds exist to address problems with men’s health, isolation, loneliness and depression which are major health issues for men who – according to an emerging body of research from charities like Age UK the specific needs of older men are largely ignored in current services for older people.
The research shows that older men are more likely than older women to be excluded from wider social relationships, especially men who are divorced or never married. Divorced and never married men are particularly susceptible to social isolation, poor health, risk behaviours (e.g. smoking and drinking) and material disadvantage than married older men. Gay men are also at particular risk according to new research from YouGov.
The Men In Sheds Conference will bring together delegates from all over the country to learn about the ways in which informal learning, health and wellbeing and the Men’s Shed initiative interrelate – click here for details.
Participants will explore Age UK’s three pilot ‘Men in Sheds’ projects (funded by the Sir Jules Thorn Trust), the value of informal learning through the Shedshow, and how the activities organised through the Men’s Shed initiative promote men’s health and well-being.
This conference provides a unique opportunity to:
- find out about the achievements of the Men’s Sheds initiative to date and hear about proposed future developments
- hear about the importance of linking informal learning with men’s health and well-being
- hear about the challenges and successes Age UK’s three pilot Men in Sheds projects experienced when setting up and running their Sheds
- hear about the intended and unintended outcomes for participants in the Sheds project
- meet and network with delegates with a similar interest from a wide range of national and international backgrounds
- further explore the policy, social, economic and demographic contexts within which the project is currently taking place