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June 28, 2022

Men’s Sheds help themselves

Not so long ago, few people had ever heard of a men’s shed let alone been in one. Fast forward a few years, and the combination of a small amount of Scottish Government seed funding and a truly grassroots vision for a national movement of men’s sheds, has resulted in a fast growing, community led public health phenomenon. Hopefully the Scottish Government will eventually recognise the need to invest in the work that supports the ongoing development of this movement but for now it continues to rely mainly on do-it-yourself, peer to peer learning.


Start a Men’s Shed


Men’s Sheds mean very different things to the diverse parts of our society. The SMSA feel it is very important to highlight some of these different views,

‘What is a Men’s Shed? –

  • Men,
  • Women and Families
  • Professionals’

and the danger if we try and fit them all into a ‘one box fits all’ mentality. So to understand the varied community benefits please do read the proceeding three sections in the same drop down menu under – What is a Men’s Shed?

In a nutshell however, a Scottish Men’s Shed is a permanent meeting place for men where lots of good community and healthy ‘self and group determined’ experiences take place. They take place by ‘everyday’ men with ‘time on their hands’ willing to act with the skills they already have within their local community.

The ‘place’ (many different types of buildings = the Shed) which is used for many different activities is run by a volunteer group (Shed committee) for themselves and other men over the age of eighteen (usually) who have ‘time on their hands’, want to get out the house/flat to socialise (chat and put the world to rights, sometimes) and maybe also do something (build/repair,up-cycle/create/learn/mentor) in between the socialising in an alcohol free and welcoming environment.

The Scottish Men’s Shed is for all men who have ‘time on their hands’ who might want to lead active lives, make a difference and build their communities into something better. It has older men and younger men, unemployed and employed, skilled and unskilled. It has a value system of: ‘we value you for who you are, not what you do or have done’. If you have ‘skills’ that’s a bonus not a prerequisite to become a Shedder. Everyone by virtue of ‘experiencing life’ has value and something to share. Shedders go to a Men’s Shed for different reasons and over time those reasons can also change. We certainly hope they may as your life changes and therefore so do your needs and outlook on life.

So we encourage you to read all the three sections to get a broader perspective of, ‘What is a Men’s Shed’ –  Men, Women and Families and Professionals’.

We hope the quotes on the right hand side demonstrate what going to a Shed means to the men and the photos and video will give you some idea of the activities which take place in a Scottish Men’s Shed and indeed many of the 1500 Men’s Sheds in the Western world today.