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Funding Awarded for Men’s Sheds Research

University College London (UCL) are funding six research projects looking at interventions to reduce loneliness and social isolation and promote mental health. We are delighted to announce that UK Men’s Sheds Association has been chosen as one of them!

A big thanks to all the folks that worked hard to make this possible – Our very own Dr Chris Manning and Kate Gordon plus Dr Bryony Porter a Senior Research Associate at the University of East Anglia. (UEA)

The project began development in March 2020 at the start of the first Lockdown. Dr Chris Manning (Sheddington Shed) approached Drs Bryony Porter and Cate Wood about possible research projects. 

The project began development in March 2020 at the start of the first Lockdown

A research team was built with colleagues at UEA—Dr Sarah Hanson and Professor Kristy Sanderson.  Kate Gordon worked with the team to identify the possible research project. The team consulted members of UK Men’s Sheds Association Health and Wellbeing Group (HAWAG) and a number of Shed Ambassadors to shape the direction of the project and plan how to work together.

An application for funding was then put in to the Loneliness & Social Isolation in Mental Health Research Network, who we are delighted to say to have awarded us the funding enabling us to start a 12 month research project with Shedders across England.

The project will run for twelve months, and we will approach Shedders to complete an online survey as early as May. 

a massive thank you to the Shedders who helped us with our survey in the summer of 2020.

We will ask about the experience of being part of a Shed, the role of social prescribing in Sheds and some questions about social connections and wellbeing. We will interview Shedders to help us understand more about their experiences. 

We hope to understand: 

• How to evaluate the impact of Sheds
• How social connections develop 
• The impact on wellbeing 
• Understand more about the key processes that are part of the essence of Sheds that make them such unique places. 

“I would like to say a huge thank you to Dr Chris Manning for your effort, enthusiasm and knowledge throughout the planning of the project. Kate Gordon and UK Men’s Sheds Association have also provided invaluable support and guidance to the project and I am so grateful to you for all your work so far. Finally, a massive thank you to the Shedders who helped us with our survey in the summer of 2020. Your responses really shaped the project and it is absolutely credit to each of you that we have been awarded this funding. I look forward to working with Chris and UKMSA and our project colleagues throughout the project.”  – Dr Bryony Porter