The menssheds is originally an Australian concept but one that has blossomed in Ireland. In 2012 the West Armagh Consortium in partnership with CAWT, DSD and NRPB opened the first Armagh Menssheds currently based at the Shambles. With financial assistance the premises in The Coppersmith Entry were furnished and opened in January of 2012.
Again in partnership with CAWT the West Armagh Consortium were successful in applying for a Big Lottery Grant. £373,000 was awarded in June of2012 securing the project for a further four years.
Armagh Mensshed is very much part of West Armagh Consortium's overall plans to fully support all ages in the West of Armagh City. The Consortium are committed to providing Health, Social ,Educational and Leisure activities to all their groups and the Menssheds concept is a useful way of contacting and working with the harder to reach older men of the community.
Armagh Mensshed is a dedicated, friendly and welcoming meeting place where men can come together to undertake a variety of mutually agreed activities. We are open to all older men regardless of their background or ability.
It is a place where you can share your skills and knowledge with others, learn new skills and develop your own important skills. New member as are always welcome and can be assured that there is something of interest for everyone. Importantly, the men have ownership of the project as opposed to govt. run schemes, and decide amongst themselves their own programme of events.
You could describe the menssheds as like a men's youth club where the men come in to have a bit of craic and a few yarns (lies) over a cup of tea. The kettle is the most important tool in the shed.
“ You could put ten men around a broken machine to fix it and when you come back half an hour later the machine won't be fixed but all the men will know each other” John Evoy CEO of Irish Menssheds Association.
“It has given me a new focus in life and something worth getting up for in the morning.” Armagh Menssheds member Eamonn Burke http://youtu.be/rob07xCUAYA
The Armagh Men’s Shed is appealing for votes as it strives to land a coveted National Lottery Awards title and be honoured on the BBC later this year The project beat off stiff competition from more than 600 organisations to reach the public voting stage in this year’s National Lottery Awards – the annual search for the most popular Lottery-funded projects.
Armagh Men’s Shed is competing against six other contenders to be crowned the winner of the Health category.
Winners of the seven National Lottery Awards categories will get a £2,000 cash prize, an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy and attend a star-studded Awards ceremony, broadcast on BBC One in September.
Armagh Men’s Shed provides a friendly open and safe environment for men to socialise, share and learn new skills, and work together on a variety of projects while improving their health and wellbeing.
Stiofan McCleary, the Armagh Men’s Shed co-ordinator, said winning the prestigious National Lottery Award and having their work showcased on national television would be an honour.
“We are delighted to reach the finals of the National Lottery Awards.National Lottery funding has allowed the Armagh Men’s Shed to provide a friendly environment for men to socialise, share and learn new skills, and work together on a variety of projects while improving their health and wellbeing.
“Now we have reached the finals of the National Lottery Awards, I would appeal for everyone to get behind us and vote for us in order to secure further recognition for this fantastic project.”
TV star and actor John Barrowman will be presenting the National Lottery Awards for the fifth time this year.
He said: “The exceptionally selfless work carried out by National Lottery Awards finalists never fails to astound me. Their work deserves to be celebrated nationally; the community spirit, social cohesion and compassion.”
“It is crucial that you show your support for your local project so it can get the national glory that it richly deserves. National Lottery players should swell with pride that £34 million of Lottery funding is raised every single week for projects like this across the UK.”
To vote for Armagh Men’s Shed please go to www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards or telephone 0844 836 9698 and follow the campaign on twitter: hashtag #NLAwards.
Voting, which opened today (Wednesday), runs for five weeks until midnight on Wednesday, July 29.
There are seven projects competing for votes across seven categories, reflecting the main areas of National Lottery funding: arts, sport, heritage, health, environment, education and voluntary/charity.