Sheds for Life- A dedicated men’s health and wellbeing programme from Irish Men’s Shed members

Sheds for Life- A dedicated men’s health and wellbeing programme from Irish Men’s Shed members

Our January blog comes from Aisling McGrath who is currently a (PhD) Researcher and
Irish Research Council Scholar based in Waterford Institute of Technology. Follow Aisling on Twitter (@ash_mcg).

Sheds for Life is a men’s health and wellbeing programme that was developed by the Irish Men’s Sheds Association to enhance the wellbeing of its Shed members. The men’s sheds have already been successful in enhancing the wellbeing of many of its members through providing a familiar environment, a safe space, social support and comradery, a sense of purpose and a place to learn new skills. Sheds for Life aims to enrich the current health enhancing environment of the Sheds by supporting the shed members to engage with their health and wellbeing in a setting that is familiar and non-judgemental and deliver it in a fun and engaging way with the support of their peers. Sheds for life consists of a health check, three core pillars of physical activity, healthy eating and mental health as well as a range of other components that can be selected by the sheds, giving the shed members autonomy over their choices. One of the key strengths of Sheds for Life is that the shed members remain the centre of everything and that it is a programme that is “for the men, by the men”. Similar to the I-Parc message, Sheds for Life aims to keep collaboration central to its implementation and evaluation efforts working with all key stakeholders involved in the participation and delivery of Sheds for Life. The partners who collaborate with the Irish Men’s Sheds Association to deliver the programme are critical to its success.


Currently the Sheds for Life programme is being delivered as a ten-week structured programme that is being tested across the sheds. The programme has ran across Waterford, Kildare, Louth and Limerick to date with a further three counties due to take part in the coming months. The goal is to eventually give every shed the chance to participate in Sheds for Life.


The physical activity pillar is central to the success of Sheds for Life. Our partners Get Ireland Walking and Siel Bleu deliver these elements where shed members have a choice of a tailored walking programme “Sheds ag siul” or “Exercise for Shedders” chair-based classes. The shed members who have engaged with the physical activity have highlighted not only an improvement in how they feel physically but also mentally as well as having enjoyed the other positive elements that go hand in hand with sport such as social inclusion and “banter and craic”, as well as enhanced self-efficacy.


You can check out some of the first hand experiences here:
Sheds for Life is currently being evaluated as a PhD research study funded by the Irish Research Council trough Waterford Institute of Technology and the Irish Men’s Sheds Association which focuses on the impact of the programme as a well as its implementation using an implementation science approach. The research hopes to enhance the understanding of ways that men can engage with health and what works best for them in terms of their health and wellbeing. It also hopes to understand how to implement community-based programmes men’s health programmes effectively. The Sheds for Life programme is also being support by SlainteCare
Other partners include:
The Irish Heart Foundation, Diabetes Ireland, Get Ireland Walking, Siel Bleu , The National Office of Suicide Prevention, Age Action Ireland, The National Screening Service, The Marie Keating Foundation, Mental Health Ireland, The HSE (healthy food made easy), The Dental Health Foundation

To find out more about Sheds for Life you can follow
@irishsheds @ash_mcg or visit
#shedsforlife #mendohealth
For any queries please email:

Thanks for reading


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