As part of Men’s Health Week 15-21 June, Kent residents are being urged to join their local Sheds project which aims to support wellbeing by encouraging men and woman of all ages to make friends, share skills and support their local community. During the current social distancing guidelines, a number of Sheds have adapted to offer members support on a virtual reality basis.
The Kent Sheds project started in 2014 building on the success of the international Men’s Sheds movement, in a bid to tackle issues such as loneliness, social isolation and mental health problems. Each Shed is unique to reflect local interest and skills of those attending. Very few are actual ‘sheds’ and most – during normal circumstances – have fun and engaging themes and venues such as fishing lakes, boats and allotments. Prior to lockdown, there were 21 ‘real’ sheds in existence and – since restrictions began – those sheds have tried to continue in some fashion while another three new ‘virtual’ sheds have also been created. Retired Programme Manager, Nigel Sheeran, from the Staplehurst Men’s Shed said: “I helped get the shed up and running over two years ago and we have 33 members attend at least monthly when we are open. During lockdown conditions, we’ve had weekly Zoom calls with most members attending at some occasion. We have different members offering fun weekly quizzes and also have set-up a telephone communications tree where pockets of three to four members keep in touch and pass on messages.”
For more information go to www.kentsheds.org or email one of our local Sheds: