L-R John McCorry - CEO North Belfast Partnership, John Johnston – Shed member, Tim McGarry, Michelle Cherry – Big Lottery Fund, Tom Robinson – Shed member
Every man needs a shed and now men 55 and over living in North Belfast have their very own “Men’s Shed” to belong to. Co-ordinated by the North Belfast Partnership and funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s “Reaching Out Connecting Older People” programme, the Shed was officially opened today by local comedian Tim McGarry. “I am absolutely delighted to be helping to launch the North Belfast Shed. I am only bitterly disappointed that at the moment I am officially far too young to enjoy the benefits of a Shed, by 20 years...ok 15...ok 10... This is a great asset for men from all across North Belfast and I wish all involved years of enjoyment in this fantastic new facility."
During the opening ceremony North Belfast Partnership CEO John McCorry said “I am so pleased that with the support of the Big Lottery Fund and others, a group of local men have been able to meet together since November last year to get the Shed up and running. As part of our “Rejuvenate Programme” the men have redecorated and refurbished the new Shed venue on Duncairn Gardens, as well as having the opportunity to try their hand at wood carving, wood turning, copper art work, willow weaving, digital photography and water colour painting”.
Martin who joined the Shed group early on said “It’s saved me from day time TV, got me back making things in my own shed and gave me the opportunity to share some of my skills with other men”. Shed member Mike said “I’ve made new friends and really enjoy the craic when we’re working away or just having a cup of tea”. Shedder John’s wife Susie said “He comes home rejuvenated and full of chat”.
Since 2009, 170 Men’s Sheds have been established across the island of Ireland, North and South with the help and support of the Irish Men’s Shed Association.
The North Belfast Men’s Shed is part of a wider initiative called the Rejuvenate Project. This is supported by a partnership of local neighbourhood renewal groups and other statutory and voluntary sector organisations. The Rejuvenate Project aims to benefit men 55 and over living in North Belfast, promoting positive health and wellbeing as well as addressing the issue of social inclusion amongst older men. Following the launch, the Shed will be open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10am to 4pm. For more details call 90 752990, see www.northbelfastpartnership.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org An open day for new members is being held on Monday 4th November 10am – 3pm. Existing members will be on hand demonstrating the wide range of shed activities and to answer any questions, all welcome.