It’s a guy thing Men’s Shed talkstirs interest in Portstewart

A a meeting was held in Portstewart Town Hall to explore the possibility of opening a Men’s Shed in the town.

A Men’s Shed is a larger version of the typical man’s shed in the garden – a place where he feels at home and pursues practical interests.

It offers this to a group of men where members share the tools and resources they need to work on projects of their own choosing at their own pace and in a safe, friendly and inclusive venue. They are places of skill-sharing and information learning, of individual pursuits and community projects, of purpose, achievement and social interaction.

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The concept originated in Australia but has been adopted in many countries since with a significant number in Ireland both north and south though none in the Triangle area.

Representatives from Ballykelly Men’s Shed, which has been in existence for a couple of years, came along to the meeting to explain how they set up their group and encourage those in Portstewart who were interested to make a start.

Ballykelly man, Brian McCluskey, said that simple steps were the best way forward.

Their group had started by repairing and recycling computers and redistributing those that were still viable.

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Later, the group started a garden project - initially with four raised beds - and insect houses and bat boxes are now being made.

Brian’s talk was warmly received and it was decided that a follow-on meeting should be arranged in order to take the next steps.

The community had responded well to requests for equipment for the shed: a local Baptist Church had even donated a pool table for the members; a Coleraine lady kindly donated her late husband’s tools and equipment; an old steel container served as a first “shed” - with windows installed, the container galvanised and Phase III electricity wired in.