IMSA Cluster Meeting

This IMSA Cluster includes Sheds located in Antrim/Down/Armagh. Ian Mahood and James Carroll represented our Shed.

Barry Sheridan CEO Called the meeting to order and took the first segment. I was surprised to learn that the IMSA started just 6-7 years ago but already has 382 sheds representing in the order of 10,000 men. This includes 89 added in last 12 months. Apparently we have more sheds per head of population than anywhere else, making Ireland the world leader in this field.

Barry emphasised more than once that men are most important. “A shed without men is just a shed. Men without a shed is still a community. “Mens’ Sheds meet in all sorts of venues, Community Centers, converted shipping containers, portacabins and even though they are expensive – Business Centers. It seems contradictory, but some men’s Sheds have no venue at all, meeting only to go on outings or to have a meal together.

On the question of finance, Barry pointed out that many Sheds have no funding at all. They are self sustaining, raising finance in many different ways. It is however most important to remember that a Shed is not a business but a social activity.

Edel Byrne, Health and wellbeing Programme Coordinator, talked to us about Men’s Health Week 12-18 June. More informationcan be obtained here.

If you are fit enough to work from 10:00 to 16:00, You could volunteer to help out clearing Rhododendron overgrowth at Killarney National Park. As an incentive, free B&B and Evening meals are provided. I fancy an October holiday – it could be a blast. If you are interested please see me (James) and I will get more information.

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