The partnership was officially launched at Passage West Men’s Shed in Co. Cork, with Munster and Ireland rugby legend Donncha O’Callaghan doing the honours. O’Callaghan, on home turf in the Rebel County, is embarking on a new role as a Topline ambassador, and spoke warmly about the partnership with the men’s sheds movement:
“Topline members really are at the centre of the communities they operate in and this is why, for me, the partnership with men’s sheds makes perfect sense. The men’s sheds movement is a brilliant, positive example of how men relate to one another and their communities. I’m looking forward to visiting some of the 400 Men’s Sheds in the coming year as well as getting involved in some exciting DIY projects along the way”.
After a short stopover in Bandon – where the local shed already enjoys a strong and fruitful relationship with its neighbourhood Topline store – Donncha descended upon Passage West laden down with armfuls of DIY goodies for the members. Not every shed will get its building supplies hand-delivered by a rugby legend, but the creative possibilities of the partnership are almost limitless.
Barry Sheridan, Chief Executive Officer of the Irish Men’s Sheds Association said ‘It’s not an exaggeration to say that sheds are transforming communities. Through the Topline partnership, sheds will have the tools to transform them even further. This is going to be a genuine, active partnership between two bodies rooted in communities throughout Ireland. Our sheds will see real, tangible benefits from day one. It means more resources and contacts for our sheds, more men using their time for the common good, and stronger, more cohesive communities’.
A centrepiece of the partnership will be the annual Topline Shed Series; a crafts competition which will see hundreds of sheds throughout Ireland express their creativity. The inaugural event will take place this summer, with generous prizes provided by Topline. Another key element of the partnership is the Community Connections program, which will see Topline members providing product support to assist men’s sheds in their various community-based projects.
Eadaoin Keane, Head of Marketing at Topline said, ‘As a buying group, Topline’s reason for existing is to support local independent hardware businesses in serving their local communities. We are delighted that through this partnership, we can now take this a step further by providing support to Men’s Sheds with a wide range of DIY products ideally suited to the types of community-based endeavours that the Sheds undertake”.Topline is Ireland’s largest buying group for hardware, DIY and building materials, supplying over 160 affiliated stores nationwide. For more information visit: www.topline.ie.