PROTECTED A “Sheddie’s” experience Mr Burton, 74, a professional trumpet player from Manchester, After many years of caring for his wife of 50 years, she died after a long battle with cancer and he was overcome by loneliness after her death, and he admitted that he turned into ‘a bit of a basket case’ ‘When my wife was dying she would say: you’re going to have to make a life of your own and find something to do!’ ‘She spotted the men’s shed and always wanted me to come along, so I popped in. I found a heap of friends. Subjects that you thought were off limits – like how you cope with losing someone – become on limits when you realise that the guy next to you has had the same experience.
PROTECTED At a glance... Australian approach used with significant success Informal community based environments where men can meet and work together Setting for ‘hands on’ practical work Innovative approach to improving men’s health and wellbeing Disguised primary health care strategy
PROTECTED What is a ‘Shed’ Updated version of the shed in the backyard Practical ‘hands on’ activity Primarily aimed at older men Activity as the “excuse”
PROTECTED How they work Improve mental health and subjective wellbeing –‘Connected’ social relationships –‘Meaning’ to their lives –Structured activities –Learn new skills and apply existing ones –Adding years to life? Reducing ‘mental distress’ Family Communities
PROTECTED What’s the need? Around 23,300 men over 65 in the city Around 8600 unemployed men aged 16-64 38.3% of men (compared to 19.9% for females) drink more than the recommended safe weekly limits of alcohol 1343 men over 65 suffering with depression (Older Persons Needs & Aspirations Report, Sunderland City Council, Nov 2010) Nomis Official Labour Market Statistics Apr 2010 – Mar 2011 (JSNA 2011, Sunderland City Council)
PROTECTED Where to start... The ‘prime venue’ for a Men’s Shed would be a community or neighbourhood where evidence suggests there are: –A large number of men who are isolated, unemployed, underemployed or retired. –Indicators of ‘mental distress’ such as high rates of depression, suicide, substance and alcohol abuse, reported ‘unhappiness’ and poor subjective well being. –Evidence of significant social and community problems for example crime.
PROTECTED Plans so far... Evaluating from the outset Have a dedicated staff member researching & evaluating the work from the outset Working with the University of Sunderland –Kevin Paton – Health promoting environments –Lieselotte van Leeuwen – Participatory design –Diane Westwood – Student Involvement Participatory Design Approach Working with East Durham Trust to learn from their CREE project
PROTECTED Key Points Must be lead by the Men Grass roots approach Doesn’t have to be a building
PROTECTED What next... We want to work to improve Men’s Health for our customers Already linking with the Public Health Agenda Keen to work with health groups We welcome your thoughts and ideas...
PROTECTED “ If you put up a sign that says ‘Men’s Health Centre’ men won’t come. If you put up a sign that says ‘Men’s Learning Centre’, men won’t come. But if the sign says ‘Men's Shed’, then people will come. And that’s when the magic begins.”
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