The CAN DO Challenge

In case you missed it, June 14th – 20th 2021 was Men’s Health Week! Our Health and Wellbeing committee decided to take part in the Men’s Heath Forum CAN DO challenge over the course of the week by carrying out the five ways to wellbeing. The CAN DO Challenge | Men’s Health Forum.

The five ways to wellbeing are five small things we can all do that are scientifically-proven to help us feel better. Read on to find out a little bit more about the work of our volunteer Health and Wellbeing Committee before seeing what they got up…

  • Did you know that our volunteer Health and Wellbeing Committee work behind the scenes with UKMSA to produce health and wellbeing related resources, online content, and influence the health focuses of UKMSA, based on what they hear from Shedders on the ground?
  • The members of our Health and Wellbeing Committee are Shed Ambassadors Paul Egerton, Patrick Abrahams, Colin Porter and Shed Leader and retired GP, Dr Chris Manning.
  • Check out some of their content on our website Health and Wellbeing Archives and on our UK Mens Sheds Association YouTube channel. 

Find out how they got on with the CAN DO challenge…

The five ways are:

  • Connect – connect with other people (eg. call an old friend you haven’t since before lockdown) #connectmonday
  • (Be) Active – move your body (eg. go for a run/walk/swim/dance/etc) #activetuesday
  • Notice – take notice of the environment around you (eg. turn off your phone for an hour) #noticewednesday
  • Discover – learn something new (eg. read a book you haven’t read before) #discoverthursday
  • Offer (or give) – do something for someone else (eg. volunteer for a local community group) #offerfriday


  • Chris connected with Shed members over WhatsApp and was also in touch with two people experiencing mental health issues. 
  • Patrick rang an old friend – “Not spoken to him since November last year.  He is housebound living with MS – I had a long chat – He uses a lot of assistive technology to live.  On the call, he taught me how to make free calls over IP via Alexa. I have known him for nearly 50 years – One of the most positive people I know.  I’m not sure I helped his mental health, but the call certainly helped mine!”
  • Chris replied to a generous offer of tools, following a person’s death, and had a positive exchange with their relative by email.


  • Chris completed a 5000 step walk in Bushy Park and mended and cleaned a petrol lawnmower for a friend.
  • Chris also discussed with a Church of England Reverend a new initiative to encourage and provide healthy exercise and game activities.
Dr Chris Manning and friends


  • Patrick’s Shed, The Frome Men’s Shed took part in the launch of the Frome “Town of Names”. The goals are that by wearing a name badge we will feel more connected with one another and able to start more conversations. We hope that by knowing each other’s name we will improve our feelings of connection. The world will feel like a friendlier place full of people we know…. and it works! Eight Shedders turned up, but we were really pleased to see three Shedders we have not met up with since March 2020 – We met up outside the Frome Library to join with Health Connections Mendip to support the launch of the Town of Names – All filmed by a Swedish TV crew (TV4). 
  • Colin is now able to get back to his college workshops to continue his metal work. He had a sculpture installation performance at the weekend.
Frome Men’s Shed noticing people’s name badges!



  • Paul will be opening the Grapevine Hub in Milton Keynes of which the new Friendship Shed will be a key player, offering support and connection to those who wish to join.
  • Chris agreed to be part of a public mental health education and support programme in Kingston-on-Thames.

If you would like to find out more information about how to support your mental wellbeing have a look at our webpage Mental Wellbeing, and scroll to the bottom of the page for some useful links. 

Your Later Life Campaign Launches Today!

UK Men’s Sheds Association are excited to be supporting the Your Later Life campaign that launched today, on June 23rd, within the Guardian and online at www.yourlaterlife.co.uk.

Your Later Life looks at celebrating and planning for the later years of our lives and featured insightful content from Age UK, Carers UK, Santander and many more, including an article from Dr Chris Manning, founder of Sheddington, about the benefits of Men’s Sheds. You can find Dr Chris’ article about Men’s Sheds in later life online, or on page 8 of the guide in the Guardian today.

Stress Awareness Month with Dr Chris Manning

I have just watched a tweet of a golden retriever eyeing Darth Vader warily on the TV it is watching. Increasingly stressed by the growing image of the cloaked and villainous spectre, it gives up to cower behind the sofa. That’s a healthy reaction and we share much of the same biology as that retriever. 

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Seven lockdown lessons

Living through lockdowns and the pandemic is stressful. When we’re stuck in our homes, unhelpful thoughts can set in. UK Men’s Sheds Association Trustee Chris Lee shares seven habits that have sustained his health and wellbeing in lockdown.

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