Working in partnership with local schools, charities or other community based organisations the North Belfast Men’s Shed has developed an active local presence and its members are always searching for new opportunities to help or support others. Whether it is through making buddy benches as part of a primary schools project aimed at tackling playground bullying or producing bird boxes to support a wildlife conservation project, members of the Shed are always searching for ways to make a difference throughout the local community.
Ran by its members and for members, the North Belfast Men’s Shed is open 5 days a week and also hosts regular events, workshops and activities which are tailored to meet the interests and capabilities of all individuals that attend. Workshop activities range from mosaic making, calligraphy, cookery classes, basic joinery, digital photography and laser cutting whilst Shed events vary from a weekly walking group to regular excursions to places of natural or historical significance.
Participation in such activities and social events provide an opportunity for Shed members to learn or share new skills whilst in the company of others. Such activities also encourage the men to remain mentally and physically active which creates additional impacts in terms of their own personal health and wellbeing. Many Shed members are also frequently involved in volunteering their time with various other community based projects or local charities such as Northern Ireland Hospice. This act of giving back has been shown to increase self esteem and provide Shed members with an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the wider North Belfast community.
“I have benefitted greatly from the Men’s Shed project so volunteering at the Men’s Shed has given me the opportunity to give something back”.