Men’s Sheds: Building Connections

Author:  Rhonda Latreille, MBA, CPCA
Founder & CEO
Age-Friendly Business®

Men’s Shed:

Building Connections  

In today’s fast-paced world, the quiet struggle of isolation often goes unnoticed. Have you ever wondered what keeps our well-being anchored during life’s many changes? For numerous men, especially in their later years, finding meaningful connections and purpose can be challenging. This is where Men’s Sheds come into play, offering a beacon of hope for community and connection.

The Challenge of Isolation:  A Global Health Crisis

Recent data presents a stark reality: older men face high levels of social isolation, depression, and suicide. Major life changes such as retirement, the loss of a spouse, friends moving or passing away, or health issues can cut off the social and professional connections that once formed their identity. The resulting silence and solitude can be overwhelming and can end tragically.

While our digital communities eliminate the geographical boundaries, the irony of growing isolation stands stark. The alarm has been sounded.  Loneliness has been declared as a significant and looming global public health threat. Echoing this sentiment, Dr. Vivek Murthy, in his thought-provoking book “Together,” casts loneliness not just as a silent specter but as a formidable adversary responsible for an array of health woes, surpassing many known physical ailments in its reach and impact. His prescription? A renewed commitment to fostering connections within our communities, families, and circles of friends, underpinned by acts of kindness and mutual care.

What is a Men’s Shed?

Originating from Australia, the Men’s Shed movement has rapidly spread across the globe, offering a simple yet profound solution to this epidemic of isolation. At its core, a Men’s Shed is more than just a physical space for woodworking, metalworking, and other activities. It is intended to be a refuge where men gather, share skills, engage in community projects, and most importantly, forge friendships. The foundation of Men’s Sheds is rooted in the understanding that every man has something valuable to contribute and that together, they can construct not only tangible projects but also a stronger sense of community and self-worth.

Men’s Sheds in Our Community

A mental health professional recently gave a presentation at one of our local Rotary Club meetings.  Brian, an active member of our club, asked what the greatest need was in our community.  She quickly stated that hands-down, there is a significant lack of resources for men.  Aware of the Men’s Shed movement in Ireland, Brian quickly set out to see how we could support the establishment of a Men’s Shed in our community.  They now meet every Wednesday morning in a meeting room at a local retirement living facility and are actively searching for a location that would accommodate a small shop.  We get to witness how it’s more than just securing a building; it’s about creating a space where men can find connections, purpose, and a sense of belonging.

The Power of Connection in Men’s Sheds

Inside a Men’s Shed, laughter and stories fill the air. Men from diverse backgrounds gather, drawn by the prospect of friendship and the joy of contributing to communal projects. It’s a space where men can be true to themselves, away from societal pressures. The activities not only lift spirits but also ignite creativity and a renewed sense of purpose.  According to our local promotional brochure, this Men’s Shed is “Where Men Get Together to Do Guy Things.”

One of the participants commented that when women get together, they talk face to face.  When men get together, they talk shoulder to shoulder.  Men’s Sheds provide that space to share and ‘be’ shoulder to shoulder.

How to Get Involved

If you’re interested in the transformative potential of Men’s Sheds, there are many ways to get involved. Whether you’re looking to join one or start a new Shed, the first step is to reach out and connect. Discover the significant difference a Shed can make in your life and the lives of others.


Connection does not need to be complicated or expensive.  Find a place to get together to enjoy coffee, cookies and conversation, and the power of friendship will work its magic.  Men’s Sheds stand as a powerful example of how community and collaboration can uplift individuals and strengthen community bonds. By supporting and participating in these spaces, we not only improve lives but also serve as part of a simple solution to the global crisis of isolation.

Rhonda Latreille, MBA, CPCA
Founder & CEO
Age-Friendly Business®


Body: Connection is Good for Your Body and Your Sou

Research shows strong social ties boost longevity by 50%, strengthen immunity, and improve overall health. Active community engagement can also lower blood pressure and reduce heart disease risk, proving that together, we indeed thrive.

Spirit: Nurtured and Cherished

“Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.”

Kahlil Gibran, from his book, “The Prophet”

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