Over 200 guests – including many avid ‘Shedders’ - attended the official opening of the Cooley Men’s Shed centre based at Bush recently.
This is the third Men’s Shed in the county and the final phase of this highly successful project administered under the Louth Age Friendly County Initiative, to date over 150 men have participated since the first Men’s Shed opened in Dundalk last September.
The Louth Community Men’s Shed project set oout to promote a sense of belonging, positive ageing and well-being for those who participate, as well as their partners, families and wider communities.
Activities pursued by participants involve carpentry, woodcarving, photography, computer skills, metal work, horticulture as well as recreation & chat mornings. Other partners in the project include the Netwell Centre, which is based in Dundalk institute of Technology and Louth Co Co.
The Sheds provide a much needed shared space where men can come together to share their skills and learn new ones, and equally important to share their cultures, heritage and traditions. Socialising is a large part of the project too, providing opportunities for the development of new friendships as well as the renewal of old ones.
Project Co-Coordinator Eva Beirne said there is a huge interest in the project.
“The Netwell Centre is to the fore in promoting inclusive communities where people can age well into later life,” she said at the opening.
“We know from research that men don’t talk face-to-face, they talk ‘shoulder-to-shoulder, something which happens naturally in the shed environment.
“Men come together to work on meaningful projects, to enjoy tea and chat or play a game of pool. In so doing, they develop friendships and share and exchange knowledge and experiences. This process helps men from different backgrounds to see the myriad of things which unite them and which far outweigh that which divides. This initiative is making a huge contribution to local communities.”