Help the Oranmore Men’s Shed get a new premises

Established in 2015, the Oranmore Men’s Shed acts as a social platform through which men in a community can form close bonds with one another. These sheds are affiliated to the Irish Men’s Sheds Association, a broad network consisting of over 450 sheds throughout Ireland.

Speaking to the chairman of the organisation, Terry Burke, I was told that “men don’t talk face to face”; they talk “shoulder to shoulder” instead. As part of the shed, men find a sense of “meaning and purpose”, and form friendships that can be relied upon. With over 10,000 men visiting the Men’s Sheds each week, Terry explained that the “greatest tool” this group offers is the “kettle”, since there’s “nothing more powerful than a cup of tea and a chat”.

Most of the sheds around Ireland host various activities such as gardening, carpentry, woodwork, and community work. Additionally, some sheds cater to “special interests” like fishing, art, restoration work, and music. Sheds across the country are community-based organisations that are run entirely by volunteers. There are around 20 sheds in Galway alone, reaching all parts of the county.

Social outlet

Terry relayed to me the growing importance of a Men’s Shed in a community. They provide a comfortable environment for men who may have no other social outlet to form strong bonds with members of the community.

Terry highlighted the role of the shed in “combating loneliness and isolation”. The pandemic has made us realise how detrimental loneliness can be for our emotional and mental well-being. He said that many of those who are part of a shed have experienced the loss of a partner or loved one, the pain of which can be somewhat eased by the “camaraderie” present within the sheds.

Friendships formed with others can help these men find a “pathway” through their grief. Over the course of the pandemic, the sheds remained close for quite a long time. Virtual meetings on ‘Zoom’ just couldn’t replace the comforting companionship found in the sheds themselves.

The Oranmore’s Men’s Shed are hoping to raise some funds through the commencement of a fundraiser. Their current premises consist of a Portacabin, which is in an unfavourable condition despite their best efforts. The cabin is far too small to safely accommodate their 25 members.

Given the current Covid-19 climate, this premises is extremely unsuitable for serving the purpose of the Men’s Shed. Since many of the members are in a “vulnerable category”, it is “imperative” that members are provided with “appropriate and safe premises”.

Given that Oranmore is a “growing community”, Terry believes there are many more people who would benefit from joining the organisation. However, with this current premises, this is simply impossible.

The condition of the shed just cannot provide an adequate environment, so the group is unable to accept new members. The Oranmore’s Men Shed are planning to replace their existing substandard facility with a “purpose built building”. This will cost them around €35,000, a considerable amount indeed, but a worthy cause.

Oranmore’s Men Shed calls upon members of the Galway community to help them achieve their goal through an online fund raising initiative launched on ‘GoFundMe’. This campaign was launched at the beginning of February, with a goal of €10,000 . The organisation calls upon Galway’s community to offer even a small donation. Terry tells me that if a large number of the community donate even a small amount of money, he has hope that their target can be achieved. No donation is too small, every bit of assistance “helps [them] reach their goal”.

If you’d like to help this noble cause, please visit their GoFundMe page, titled as “Help the Oranmore’s Men’s Shed get a new premises”. For more information, visit their Facebook Page, Oranmore Men’s Shed.

The Oranmore Men’s Shed may be contacted by Facebook message,

by email: [email protected], or by phone: Terry at 097 1925925/Joe at 085 1689348


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