Springburn Park Men's Shed
Tom Bennett, Secretary of the Springburn Park Men's Shed shares with us the story from North Glasgow.
The story so far
The Men's Shed located at the old works depot in Springburn Park ran our first session on Tuesday 15th January 2019. We now open 3 days a week Tuesday-Thursday.
On average 6-12 men attend each daily session. Our youngest member is 22 and our oldest 87. The majority of our members are over-50s.
A Sense of Purpose
There are so many retired or out of work skilled men in the local communities surrounding Springburn that have nothing to do. We give them a sense of purpose again, a reason to get out of the house, a new circle of friends, all the tools and equipment they need to build or repair things, a social area to meet, chat, read, listen to music, but most of all we offer companionship.
It's incredible to witness the change in some of our members from their first day they attend and within a few weeks they are laughing and joking and meeting up with other members out with the Shed.
Some guys have stated they would come every day if we were open. Initially they found out about our Men's Shed through word of mouth but we now use Social Media and we now have an advertising plan.
Meaningful activity and conversation
The Men's Shed workshop offers both wood work and metal work sessions. We have recently had Healthy Eating on a Budget classes and we run a Lunch Club, free of charge. An unexpected benefit of the Lunch Club is, this is when the guys chat about personal stuff like health, family or financial problems. Sometimes others offer them advice, they had a similar problem or know someone or an organisation who helped them. We have also built some good relationships with other community focused organisations and businesses.
The benefits of attending the Men's Shed has exceeded our expectations. Several members have gone back into full time employment, three members are now Volunteers. Many of our members have stated that their mental and physical wellbeing has improved since joining our Shed and that they enjoy being a Springburn Shedder and are proud of all we have achieved in such a short space of time. In some cases our members have been re-engaging with the local community, passing on and sharing their skills. They have a new circle of friends and they look forward to seeing each other on Men's Shed days, a sense of belonging among people who are non judgemental and accept them as they are.