Sharing skills and stories

THE MEN’S SHED which started in March 2011 is growing all the time and providing a great social outlet as well as enhancing our community with their “Helping Hands” initiative.

THE MEN’S SHED which started in March 2011 is growing all the time and providing a great social outlet as well as enhancing our community with their “Helping Hands” initiative.

Sammy Kirwan has been involved with the group for the past 12 months. “I heard about it on the St Johns newsletter. I worked as a plasterer and roofer for fifty year. The group is great - it gives me something to do and the chance to meet people which is important as I live by myself.

“It gets you out of the house and some of the lads you’d know from before. There are some men in the group that I worked with 20 or 30 years ago. I would definitely encourage people to come along and have the chat and the craic. it is a very positive thing. There is always great banter and there is good work done as well. After I got my hip replacement and was laid up for a while some of the group came over and did my garden for me last summer,” he said.

The focus of The Shed is on providing a space where men could come together to engage in a range of activities of their choosing. To date the men have completed a number of activities, such as building bird boxes, herb boxes and numerous carpentry endeavours, part taking in a men’s health course, bicycle repair and creating a garden mosaic.

Work is currently underway on a mobile origami crane exhibition; the aim of this mobile is to raise awareness about suicide and importance of getting involved in projects such as the men’s shed to help combat social isolation. We are in the process of making 525 origami cranes

(one for each person who died by suicide in 2011), the mobile will be exhibited around Kilkenny city for a six month period, one month in each venue.

The Men’s Shed runs every Tuesday and Wednesday from 2 to 5.30pm (on the grounds of the Good Shepherd Centre).Members of the Men’s Shed can also partake in the Veg Shed (community garden) which is aimed at supporting men and women in the community who are at risk of social isolation.

In March 2012 the Men’s Shed launched the “Helping Hands” initiative, whereby members of the Men’s Shed provide a handy work service to the community (especially those living alone & the elderly), in return for a donation to the project.

The Men’s Shed can be contacted by phone or email on 085 8381653 or email 
at kilkenny@menssheds.ie