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The University of East Anglia (UEA) is working with UK Men’s Sheds Association (UKMSA) and Men’s Sheds to help to understand more about how Men’s Sheds work and how they offer support in the community and for the community. They are looking at the most appropriate ways of measuring the impact of Sheds on:

• Loneliness, mental health, and wellbeing
• Understanding how people are introduced to Men’s Sheds
• The role of social prescribing referrals.

Who is invited?

UEA value your views and experiences if you attend a Men’s Shed. Understanding your views on how Men’s Sheds help their members can help others to understand what the really important parts of a Men’s Shed are, to shape and support how they are developed further, including how they can best support you and your community.

What does it actually involve?

If you choose to participate you will be asked to complete  two questionnaires. Once you have read this information and confirmed that you are happy to take part, you will be sent the first questionnaire. You will then be asked to complete a second (shorter) questionnaire in 2-3 weeks. The questionnaire will  have a range of questions about you, how you joined the Men’s Shed, and a series of questions about your wellbeing  and social relationships. You do not need to answer all the questions.

UEA is also looking to interview some Shedders and Shed Ambassadors. The interview will help us to understand more about your experience in Men’s Sheds, and your experience taking part in this research project. The interviews are expected to take 30-45 minutes and will be held over the telephone, or on  a video conferencing tool e.g. Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
If you’re interested in being involved in an interview, you can let us know in this form or you can email Bryony

Do I have to take part?

No. Taking part in research is a personal decision and it is completely up to you whether you decide to take part or not. If you decide not to take part this will not affect your involvement with the Sheds or UK Men’s Sheds Association  in any way.

Are there any disadvantages to taking part?

UEA does not anticipate any disadvantages to you participating, apart from the time taken to complete the questionnaires and be interviewed (if you choose to participate in the interviews). There will be some questions about your own mental health and experience of loneliness and social isolation. These may be  upsetting or triggering for you. UEA will provide a series of support resources, should anything that is covered cause you any distress. You are also free to stop or withdraw at any point  if you no longer want to continue.

Are there any advantages to taking part?

Your views are valued and what you say will increase  understanding of how Men’s Sheds help people.  At the end of the study, UEA  will  produce a report for Men’s Sheds. UEA and UK Men’s Sheds Association will produce a video to share what we learn and a poster that can be displayed in your Shed. This will be a general report to ensure that no participants are identifiable.

When you complete a questionnaire, you will be entered into a prize draw with the chance of winning a 1x £50 or 1x £25 voucher. If you also take part in the interviews, you will be compensated with a £15 voucher. The vouchers will be from LoveToShop, covering a range of places to spend including Wilko, Halfords, GoOutdoors, Argos and Waterstones.

Will my information be identifiable?

No, the information you provide will be de-identified so your responses will not be linked back to you or the Men’s Shed you’re involved in. If you choose to take part in the interview, it  will be recorded to enable the researcher to listen to you during the interview without being distracted by taking notes. It will also enable the researcher to re-listen to it again after the interview. The recording will be transcribed and made anonymous. The recording will be destroyed. Your views will be combined with others who are also taking part in the research. Your name will not be used at any stage of the research or in any write up or published findings. Quotations may be used to help emphasise a point,  but this will have a false name attached to it.

How will the information collected be shared?

After we have collected and analysed the data, UEA will share the findings in a report; in the UK Men’s Sheds Association’s newsletter ‘Shoulder2Shoulder‘, a poster, and visual graphics will be shared online with the help of UK Men’s Sheds Association’s digital marketing. We will also share the findings at conferences and in academic journal articles.

How long will my information be kept?

All data will be de-identified and recordings deleted after transcription. All information provided during the study will be stored in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the UEA Research Degrees’ Code of Practice 2012. At the end of the research period data will be passed into central file storage within the Faculty of Medical Health and destroyed after 10 years.

How will my email address and personal information be stored?

Your email address and initials will be stored in a password-protected file that limited members of the research team will have access to. This file will contain your Participant ID, that will be used to link your responses across the surveys and interviews. Should you wish to withdraw your data, this ID will be used to ensure your data can be removed from the study.

Who has reviewed the study?

The UEA has a Research Ethics and Governance Committee which reviews all studies undertaken by UEA staff to ensure that the interests of the participants are protected. This study has been approved by the Faculty of Medicine and Health Ethics Committee (REF: 2020/21-110).

Where can I access support?

If you have been affected by any of the topics that were covered in this information sheet, you can find support from the following organizations:

Samaritans – Web: / Call: 116 123 / Email:

Mind – Web: / Call: 0300 123 3393

Age UK – Web: / Age UK Advice Line: 0800 678 1602

Can I talk to someone about the research study?

You can contact Bryony Porter to discuss the research study by emailing

I have a complaint about the research study

If you have any concerns or wish to complain about any aspect of this research then please use the university’s complaint procedure and your initial contact is Prof Sally Hardy

Can I withdraw my consent or data?

You are free to withdraw your consent from the study at any time. Withdrawing from the study will in no way affect your involvement with Men’s Sheds or UK Men’s Sheds Association. You can contact UEA to withdraw your data at any point up until January 31st 2022.

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