Sheds for Life Awards ‘Sheddies’ – Supporting Men’s Health & Wellbeing
Over one hundred men’s sheds members from across Ireland received awards this week in recognition of their hard work and dedication to the ‘Sheds for Life’ health and wellbeing programme, run by the Irish Men’s Sheds Association (IMSA). The first of two ceremonies in the Oranmore Lodge recognised shedders from Galway, Mayo, Roscommon and Leitrim while sheds from Wicklow and the greater Dublin Area were honoured in the Clayton Liffey Valley Hotel in Dublin. Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council Michael ‘Moegie’ Maher and IMSA CEO Enda Egan shared the MC duties in presenting the awards.
Sheds for Life is a community-based health promotion programme aimed at supporting the physical, mental and social wellbeing of men’s sheds members. The programme works to address some of the serious health inequalities that exist for men in Ireland.
Sheds for Life reached over 411 men in 41 Sheds across ten-weeks of health and wellbeing workshops throughout Programme 1 and 2 in Autumn and Spring of 2022, addressing topics such as heart health, healthy eating, mental health promotion and digital literacy.
Cllr. Maher commended the men on their participation:
“By completing this programme you have all shown a great commitment to Sheds for Life. This initiative is another wonderful example of the work that goes on in sheds all around Ireland week in, week out. I hope that you can take the experience and learning from the programme and continue to use the essential skills to improve your health and wellbeing.”
IMSA chief executive Enda Egan said the programme is so successful because it is delivered on men’s “own terms” and in partnership with them.
“The health outcomes of this group of men remain generally worse than women with higher mortality for almost all leading causes of death. This gender-specific tailored and targeted approach works on health and well-being in a meaningful and effective way, focussing risk factors and prevention through lifestyle changes,” Mr Egan said.
“We are very encouraged that this targeted intervention is producing such long-term positive change. We see this as a cost-effective health initiative which will continue to roll out across the country,” he added.
Health and Wellbeing Manager with IMSA, Rebecca McLaughlin also commented:
“The Sheds for Life programme has received an overwhelming positive response from sheds across Ireland and is making a real difference in improving men’s physical and mental wellbeing.
“Our findings from Sheds for Life so far show that the programme is enriching the social aspects of men’s sheds and providing the opportunity for men to talk about health and wellbeing within the supportive and informal setting of a men’s shed. The programme is uniquely built for Men, in collaboration with Men and delivered by cross sector partners”
“We’re excited to roll out the programme to Sheds in Donegal, Sligo, Cork City and County later this year, sheds can register their interest now by calling the IMSA on 01 891 6150.”
Sheds for Life is funded through HSE Health and Wellbeing and the Sláintecare Integration Fund, Muriel Farrell, Programme Lead for Sláintecare noted Sheds for Life’s success:
“It is fantastic to see a recipient of the Sláintecare Integration Fund provide such a targeted and beneficial programme that is in line with Sláintecare’s objective of promoting the engagement and empowerment of citizens in the care of their own health.
“Sláintecare Integration Funding will support the delivery of over 400 follow-up health checks with participating sheds across the Sheds for Life programme.”
A full evaluation of Sheds for Life was recently released in partnership with the Irish Research Council, Waterford Institute of Technology and the National Centre for Men’s Health at IT Carlow, as well as a range of other major health organisations.