Mens Sheds To Be Set Up In Rostrevor And Warrenpoint

Men are shedding new light in Rostrevor.

The first Rostrevor Men’s Shed committee meeting took place on Wednesday 11 November in St Bronagh’s GAC Clubrooms following the first successful public meeting writes Mark Gibbons.

He said: “It has been all hands to the pump regarding establishing a Men’s Shed in the local area.

mens shed_downpatrick“An objective of the Rostrevor Men’s Shed is to enhance or maintain the well-being of the participating men. Men don’t talk face-to-face, they talk shoulder-to-shoulder. I know that for I am one of those men.”

Mark said: “Ever since the day and hour I made folks aware of my intentions to call a public meeting on the issue, the phone has not stopped with people wanting to play their part in the Men’s Shed initiative. My initial call was to see if the local community would be interested in forming a Men’s Shed in the Rostrevor and Warrenpoint area, an amalgamation as such. But it was clear from very early on with the volume of interest from both Warrenpoint and Rostrevor that two Men’s Sheds could easily be established in both areas if there was a will and a drive to do so.

“I decided to concentrate first and foremost on forming the Rostrevor Men’s Shed, and then after we get that up and running, I could look into helping establish a Shed in Warrenpoint as well. Hopefully with everything that will be learnt from the creation of the Rostrevor Shed it will set a good foundation for any future Sheds popping up in the South Down area. We have a good mix of committee members from Rostrevor, Warrenpoint and the surrounding area, all eager to help and to get things up and running. And with an initial membership list of over 25 people, we are moving in the right direction on all fronts.”

[caption id="attachment_59917" align="aligncenter" width="540"]L-R Top: John Carr, Patsy Curren, Peter Valkema(Secretary) Rob Fearon, Jimmy Owens(Treasurer) Donal Lavery,  Bottom From L-R Clare Shels (Rural Development Officer) Mark Gibbons(Chair) Eamonn O' Connor, Lawrence Boyle, Steven Boyle. L-R Top: John Carr, Patsy Curren, Peter Valkema(Secretary) Rob Fearon, Jimmy Owens(Treasurer) Donal Lavery, Bottom From L-R Clare Shels (Rural Development Officer) Mark Gibbons(Chair) Eamonn O’ Connor, Lawrence Boyle, and Steven Boyle.[/caption]

What is a Men’s Shed? A Men’s Shed is a dedicated, friendly and welcoming meeting place where men come together and undertake a variety of mutually agreed activities. Somewhere to feel at home, have a laugh, socialise, pursue practical interests and stay active!

Mark added: “The Rostrevor Men’s Shed will be a place to capture and pass on skills and craftsmanship between each other. It will also be a place just to come and sit for a while, have a chat over a cup of tea, or even read the papers.

“One of our main goals will be to get working on projects of our own choosing, at our own pace and in a safe , friendly and inclusive venue in Rostrevor.

The Rostrevor Men’s Shed will be open to all men regardless of age, background or ability. It will be a place where you can share your skills and knowledge with others, learn new skills and develop your old skills.

“It is about creating a place in Rostrevor and the surrounding area where men can meet, pursue hobbies, share knowledge.”

Activities carried out by other Men’s Sheds around Ireland and UK include: *Regular programs with guest speakers *Community garden projects *Pallet upcycling & other woodwork projects *Bicycle repairs and touring *Computer classes *Art and drawing classes *Social media classes *Cooking classes *Photography= *Literacy/Numeracy training *Bookbinding *Tiling *Pottery *Picture framing *Lead lighting/stained *Getting together socially/Chess & Card groups *Use or re-kindle your skills, learn new ones  *and much more…

“One of the most important things about a Men’s Shed is what it is Not. The Rostrevor Men’s Shed for example, will NOT be a formal training programme but you may gain new knowledge and skills. It will NOT be a health programme but your health and well-being may improve. It will NOT be a sports club but you could play sports. It will not be a service for men but activities organised by men.

“One of our first things that we are currently organising will be a bus trip to the excellent Men’s Shed in Armagh. They have one of the best run Shed’s in the North and it will be great to see first hand what running a Men’s Shed entails and what benefits come from it. This should be great craic for a first trip.

“My fellow shedders and I will have a lot to do in the coming weeks, one of which is to find a premises in the Rostrevor area. Other items on the agenda will include membership and fundraising, but I can tell even by the very first couple of meetings that something very special is happening. Men are feeling better about themselves already, and there isn’t even a shed built. I am just so proud to say that I am in the company of a group very committed, passionate men whose hearts are in the right place, and hopefully so will be the Rostrevor Men’s Shed.”

There may even be an opportunity to meet up with the two Downpatrick men’s sheds in the near future.