Wellbeing in Men’s Sheds

We have become aware of some Sheds experiencing disquiet and agitation for a while now following Sheds reopening. We have spoken at length with some Shed Leaders on this subject and feel that one thing we could do to help is provide you with some messaging that could go on your walls if you feel it is helpful.

We recognise people have been on their own during lockdowns and being in a social Shed setting may subconsciously be a challenge. It is also an uncertain time for many with the Government’s Plan B coming in to force in England and other preventative measures being put in to place in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. This is compounded by discussions on whether Shedders should wear masks in the Shed or have vaccines, etc. There is perhaps a Covid Blues and it is not necessarily the case in all Sheds, but it is being reported to us.

In most of the cases we have heard about it is helpful if people can reflect and we will also look to see if there is something we can do around mindfulness in the new year.

This may not be useful for you particularly, but hopefully it will help some.

Season’s greetings and best wishes,

Charlie Bethel

Sheds Wellbeing Posters

Merry Christmas 2021!

The staff and trustees would like to wish all our volunteer Ambassadors, Supporters, Partners and Shedders a Merry Christmas. As has been the case since the start of 2020, there has been a terrible cost to life and mental health; but we have seen more Sheds re-opening and we even saw a number of new Sheds opening for the first time.  Each Shed providing a massive impact in their communities and to the Shedders and members who attend.

We currently are living in unprecedented times, and as merry as Christmas can be for some, we know it may bring loneliness and isolation for others, this Christmas maybe more than most.

Although the UK Men’s Sheds office is now closed until Tuesday 4th January, there are other organisations who are out there to help. Your mental health matters, so please do contact them out if you need someone to listen this festive season.

The Calm Zone – 0800 58 58 58

Samaritans – 116 123 / jo@samaritans.org

Anxiety UK – 03444 775 774 / support@anxietyuk.org.uk

Papyrus UK – 0800 068 4141 / pat@papyrus-uk.org

Scottish Association for Mental Health – 0344 800 0550

Back On Side – 07528 243100 / libby@backonside.com

Talking about Positive Mental Health

Join Dr Alastair Dobbin, Feeling Good co-founder, as he discusses men’s mental health with Charlie Bethel, Founder of the UK Men’s Sheds Movement.

On Tuesday 30th November at 3.30pm, you’re invited to be a part of the discussion between two men ‘shedding’ light on the origins of the Men’s Sheds Movement and how it supports men’s health and wellbeing.

With Charlie Bethel, UKMSA Chief Officer and Alastair Dobbin, GP and co-founder of the Feeling Good App.

Charlie is a strong supporter of the Paralympic Association, and Alastair is interested in how sports coaching techniques can be applied to everyday mental health. They will be discussing Resilience and Wellbeing and the issues that challenge and build men’s wellbeing. 

At the end of the session there will be time for questions and you will be given free access codes to the Feeling Good app. The app is also available on the Good Thinking London website for those living in London Boroughs.

You can book onto this FREE event at Eventbrite here.

After registering, you’ll receive a confirmation email containing more information about joining the online discussion.

Helping the hearts of Shedders

We’re delighted to announce a new partnership with London Hearts, a registered charity which specialises in the supply of Defibrillators, related equipment and training all across the UK and Ireland. 

Recent tragic cardiac arrest events involving persons at the peak of their fitness goes to show that heart issues can happen to literally ANYONE, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE!

If you go into cardiac arrest, without a defibrillator, you have a 7% chance of survival.  If a defibrillator is used within the first 3-5 minutes, the chances of survival is over 70%.

London Hearts has launched an initiative to assist sheds in obtaining this life-saving equipment.  It is currently offering full funding depending on your location or a grant up to £500 towards the cost of every Defibrillator it supplies which also comes with free online training.

Don’t just take our word for the benefits of this project – here’s a few words from Elaine Curley, coordinator of the Battersea Men’s Shed, who received a fully funded defibrillator and training from London Hearts:

“The men are so grateful to London Hearts Charity for this defibrillator.  The additional instruction in how to use it effectively and how to administer CPR, is invaluable.  These new life skills are ones that potentially could be used in a much wider capacity than just at the Shed.   Whilst we hope to never have to use the defibrillator, having one at Battersea Men’s Shed provides incredible peace of mind and the training has given members the confidence to act swiftly and ably should they ever need to.”

Equipment is available now from London Hearts and can be with you in a matter of days. 

In order to proceed in obtaining a Defibrillator simply complete the short online application via the following link: londonhearts.org/apply-for-a-defib

If you have any queries or wish to discuss obtaining a Defibrillator please contact Kym or Jo at London Hearts by telephone on 02070432493 or by email to:  kym@londonhearts.org

Show that you care, be aware

Make sure for Movember that you are really aware,
Pass on this message to show that you care.

Its starts with a little fumble no one will know,
It could stop many problems that grow and grow.

Your life might have changed you thought its a mystery,
You kept waking every night wanting to Pee.

You just feel “oh well nothings wrong it must be just me”,
I will stop drinking after I`ve had my evening tea.

By self diagnosing Men feel it will go away,
But that`s where they are wrong don`t go astray.

Contact your doctor for a small blood test,
Nothing too major and all for the best.

If anything is found, things move fast,
Various treatments that positively will last.

Its best to get things sorted the sooner the better,
Don’t let Cancer be a massive spreader.

There are numerous individuals who have done all this,
Its definitely worth it so don’t give it a miss .

Be aware all this doesn’t happen individually overnight,
But its all worthwhile as the end soon comes in sight.

I share this knowledge because I have had that fiddle,
It was all worth it, otherwise I would not of written this riddle.

Ray Winder, North Walsham Men’s Shed and UKMSA Ambassador in Norfolk

More than 47,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year – that’s 129 men every day. Every 45 minutes one man dies from prostate cancer – that’s more than 11,500 men every year. 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Around 400,000 men are living with and after prostate cancer.­– source Prostate Cancer UK

UK Men’s Shed’s Health and Wellbeing interviewed one of the foremost speakers on the subject of prostate cancer in the world– Professor Mark Emberton Dean at UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences. He was interviewed by Dr Chris Manning from our Health and Wellbeing Group. Follow this link to re-watch the interview, or to find out how to book your Shed a session with Prostate Cancer UK.

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.