July 2020: The Vale of Avoca Men’s Shed was set up in early 2018. It came to fruition 3 years ago when some community members felt there was a need to cater for retired people and to give them an outlet explains chair Victor O’Shaughnessy. The shed is situated at the back of the old community hall. They have a membership of 20 men for 2020. The group are all locals from the Avoca area and all retired. Each man in the group comes from all walks of life and all bring a skill to the shed, eg carpenters, metalworking, painting etc. We all learn from each other through various projects we do for ourselves or for the community. eg. Buddy Benches for schools, Bird boxes for the Wild Life service. We also did exhibition frames for International Women’s day in 2019, as well as doing repairs to garden furniture for people in the community. For all this we get a contribution which goes into the shed fund which keeps us afloat. In addition to that, we do courses which are sponsored by KWVEC, eg cooking, wood turning as well as day trips to museum to name but a few. The shed is based on “the principles on old Ireland” like when you called to a house, sat down, had a cup of tea and a good chat. Values are also very important to the shed, including the importance of honesty, openness, accountability, transparency, equality and inclusion. The men look forward to meeting up every week and enjoy the craic and banter and some work also gets done. The shed meets twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday 10am – 1pm and are always open to new members. We are an active group that have gelled well together and hopefully this is looking good for the future.