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  • The Men’s Shed Movement: Highlighting the importance of community and friendship for wellbeing

    By Aisling McGrath (Centre for Behaviour Research, Waterford Institute of Technology). Click here to read the full research paper.

    Emerging research has highlighted the risk and negative health impacts of social and emotional loneliness facing society today. Loneliness has been associated with all cause morbidity and mortality. This epidemic is compounded by fragmentation in modern society as a result of decentralisation, superficial modes of communication and individualistic culture.

    Friendship and belongingness and feelings of social capital and cohesiveness are protective against loneliness. These are fostered within environments that promote a sense of community.

    The Men’s Sheds movement act as an example of where sense of community is plentiful and highlights the benefits of friendship towards protecting our wellbeing.

    This paper discusses the plight of modern society and its battle against loneliness, using the Men’s Sheds as an example of initiatives that actively and positively protect society against the loneliness epidemic through the promotion of friendship and meaning.