Naas Community Men’s Shed came to fruition in 2014 after a few older people in the community felt there was a requirement for a shed in Naas. The shed was initially set up to bring people together, give them activities and to share their experiences with each other. The shed recently moved location to a house on the Dublin Road and shed chair Norman Farragher attributes the recent sharp increase of an additional 20 members to this move.
There are now 57 members who vary from 26 to 86 years of age. The new premises is spacious and shed members have fully refurbished the downstairs with a kitchen that has the facilities to prepare lunch. They are almost finished the upstairs refurbishment, with plans to create a small gym. The members are also planning to re erect their poly tunnel, hen house and beehives in their new location. The shed also puts a huge emphasis on social interaction between members and encourage members to share their stories and problems. If a member is missing a phone call will be made to check in on them explains Norman. The members actively use WhatsApp to keep each other in the loop.
The members have a constant stream of projects from making bird boxes to insect hotels. Members often learn a new skill from other members. Music is a very popular pastime for some of the members and the band set up by members has had great success playing gigs in the community. The band has played in nursing homes, at the harbour and festivals throughout the town. Many a session has been held at the shed.
The shed is open Monday to Saturday, 10am – 2pm with lunch at 12.30pm and they are always open to new members. For more information please see contacts listed or alternatively you can contact IMSA on 01 8916150
Sheds move online
With the temporary closure of men’s sheds across Ireland, some men’s sheds have moved online to continue to connect with one another, finding new and innovative ways to interact. One such shed is the Naas Community Men’s Shed, based in County Kildare. Norman Farragher, Chair of the shed, explains that the men have set up two WhatsApp groups. “We have a WhatsApp group, there’s 52 members out of the 60 involved in one. We also have a ‘musical WhatsApp’ group, who share music sessions with all members in both groups”
Norman says that since Friday 13th March the shed has been temporarily closed, but the decision to set up their WhatsApp group was made so that shedders could send each other musical videos of themselves, like a virtual men’s shed. “The members are enjoying it,” says Norman, “because they can see each other, and they can listen to the songs. They’re starting to develop it further, after they play, they’ll have a cup of tea and chat with one another on WhatsApp. Outside that, we have the general banter, sharing videos, jokes, funny stories”.
For some shedders, messaging platforms like WhatsApp or social media may be out of reach for them, due to the technology or internet in their local area. The Irish Men’s Sheds Association continues to operate normally and provide support and advice to shedders on 01 891 6150 or firstname.lastname@example.org.