Men’s Shed – everything you need to know

Mo makes a box

Reproduced from: Jennie McNichol, 2022, Mens Shed -Everything You Need To Know [online], Available from

A Men’s Shed is a type of social club specifically for men. It provides a space for men to come together and work on projects, share stories and have camaraderie. The clubs can be found all over the world, and membership is typically open to all men, regardless of age or occupation.

History of the Men’s Shed Movement

The Men’s Shed Movement is a relatively new social phenomenon that has been growing in popularity all over the world in recent years. The idea for the Men’s Shed Movement was born out of a need to provide support for older men who were struggling with social isolation, loneliness and depression.

The Men’s Shed movement originated in Australia in 2002, although the first known men’s shed was established in 1978. Officially recognised as a movement in 2007, Men’s Sheds are now found in more than twenty countries, including the UK, US, Canada, Ireland, Finland, New Zealand and Greece.

The goal of the Men’s Shed Movement is to provide a space for men to come together and work on projects, share stories, and build relationships. While there is no one set model for how a Men’s Shed should be run, the common denominator is that these spaces are typically open to all men, regardless of age, socio-economic status, or background.

The slogan for men’s sheds is “Shoulder to Shoulder,” abbreviated from “Men don’t talk face to face, they talk shoulder to shoulder,” adopted after the Australian Mens Shed Association Conference (AMSA) in 2008.

Users of the Men’s Sheds are known as ‘Shredders’.

What Do Men’s Sheds Offer?

Men’s sheds are essentially places where men can gather to work on projects, share tools, and talk about anything and everything. The idea behind them is that they provide a space for men to feel comfortable and be themselves. This is especially important for retired men who may not have a lot of other opportunities for social interaction. Mens sheds can offer a sense of community and old fashioned mateship that is often hard to find elsewhere. They can also provide a space for men to learn new skills, explore their interests and improve their wellbeing.

While the specific activities that take place in a men’s shed vary from one location to the next, common pursuits include woodwork, metalwork, brewing beer or wine, repairing items and carpentry.

Peter and William share a story
Peter and William share a story

Why Are Men’s Sheds Important?

Men’s sheds are important because they provide a space for men to come together and share their experiences, exchange skills, and build relationships. They can also offer a sense of community and support that many men may not have access to elsewhere. Sheds can help men feel connected to something larger than themselves and give them a sense of purpose. Additionally, sheds can provide a place for men to work on meaningful projects and hobbies, which can be therapeutic and help boost self-esteem. Members can also access health information and resources.


Who Can Join a Men’s Shed?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the eligibility requirements for joining a men’s shed can vary from place to place. However, in general, membership is open to all adult males who are interested in the activities and ethos of the shed. Some sheds may have specific criteria (such as residency in a certain area or membership of a particular organisation), but these are typically relaxed if there is a shortage of members.

Making a Salad Bowl
Making a Salad Bowl

Is There a Female Version of the Men’s Shed?

There is no definitive answer to this question as there are a variety of women’s sheds across the country, each with their own unique set of rules and regulations. However, in general, the purpose of a women’s shed is the same as that of a men’s shed – to provide a space for members to come together and work on projects, share skills and knowledge, and socialize. Some women’s sheds also offer classes and workshops on topics such as cooking, gardening, and crafts.

Some “Women’s Sheds” operate out of pre-existing “Men’s Sheds.” A few sheds are denoted on Web sites as “Community Sheds” or “Community Men’s Sheds” to be more inclusive of women. A few shed-based groups are youth participants, too. Some Shed-based organisations also involve children as part of the community.


How Are Men’s Sheds Funded?

There are over 1,000 men’s sheds in Australia, and they are funded by the government and private donations. The government provides funding for the sheds to buy equipment and materials, and the sheds also raise money through donations from individuals and businesses.

Lions Flag Box
Lions Flag Box

How Can I Find a Men’s Shed in My Area?

If you are interested in finding a men’s shed in your area, the first step is to check out the Australian Men’s Sheds Association: Men’s shed Locations

Or you can do a Google search for “mens sheds (your city/state).” This will bring up a list of all the men’s sheds in your area. You can then visit their websites or call them to find out more information.

In conclusion, the Australian Men’s Shed Association offer a variety of benefits to men of all ages which promotes good health and wellbeing. If you are looking for a place to socialise, learn new skills, or just have some time to yourself, a men’s shed may be the perfect place for you.