Some members of the movement during the Minister's visit to Kilcock today. Picture: IMSA
Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring today participated in an event to mark the 400th Men’s Shed in Kilcock in County Kildare.
“Kilcock Men’s Shed is a wonderful, inspiring example of what Men’s Sheds are about and what can be achieved through this approach. The Kilcock Men’s Shed choir has become a local success story and the Shed has galvanised a group of local men in so many positive ways. It provides a huge variety of activities, including woodwork, gardening, healthy cooking courses, computer courses and CPR training,” he said.
The Men’s Sheds movement has grown exponentially under the Irish Men’s Sheds Association (IMSA) since the first Shed was established in 2011.
“The rate of growth of the Men’s Sheds tells its own story. There is clearly a huge demand in communities around Ireland for somewhere where men can learn, create and communicate; where they can get informed on their physical and mental health; and where they can achieve things together in an enjoyable way. The phenomenal increase in Men’s Sheds is testament to the positive impact that they are having in communities around Ireland,” added the Minister.
He said there are now 10,000 members of Men’s Sheds across Ireland, with four expressions of interest a week for new Sheds from communities around the country.
“In order to help the Irish Men’s Sheds Association cope with the demands of its rapidly growing network, my Department is providing €15,000 in funding in order to support the purchase of much needed IT and communications equipment. I look forward to engaging further with this excellent community organisation as it supports and inspires groups of men in communities,” he added.
IMSA CEO, Barry Sheridan said: “2017 has been a particularly memorable year for men’s sheds in Ireland. We’re now reaching 10,000 men across more than 400 sheds throughout the country. That’s having a transformative impact on men, families and communities in every county on the island. We’re delighted to welcome Minister Ring to the Kilcock Men’s Shed and we look forward to engaging further with him as we strive to deliver even greater outcomes for Irish communities in 2018.”