Downpatrick’s Men’s Shed was established by Action Mental Health, a charity that strives to change the lives of those living with Mental ill – health and promotes resilience and well – being to future generations.
“The shed was set up in June 2013 by Action Mental Health. We received funding from the Big Lottery, who established three sheds: one in Downpatrick, Fermanagh and Antrim”, says Eoin McAnuff, who manages the project for the mental health charity. Eoin praises the individuality of the shedders , however he say’s: “Every shed is made different by it’s members but Downpatrick’s Men’s Shed is similar to other sheds due to their community focus. They have done work for local charities and schools. They refurbished furniture and bikes for St Vincent de Paul to sell and they created a doll house for one of the schools. The shed is very much about giving back to their community. There’s also great variety for shed members. They enjoy a wide range of activities including gardening and art. They recently took part in a leather class, where they made belts. At the moment the men are sorting cookery classes, which will run over the next 10 or 12 weeks.”
Well being and mental health is a strong focus within the shed. ” It is about promoting positive mental health as well as well being. One of the activities we are running is yoga and mindfulness Classes.” Says Eoin. The majority of the shed members are over 50, a large percentage of whom attend daily. “99 % would be retired and some men would travel 18 or 20 miles to come to the shed from places such as Castlewellan and Saintfield.”
The shed is open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9.30 am – 1.30 pm and new members are always welcome. For more details please contact Eoin or Lisa or visit their Downpatrick Men’s Shed Facebook page