BBC Sheds - Margaret white Gentoo

Margaret White
Deputy Director (Operations) Gentoo Living
Zou Kouache
Project Assistant (Development & Growth)
•Developing Gentoo Group’s Health Strategy
• 4 Key Areas:
•Ageing Population & Dementia
•Men’s Health
•Happiness & Wellbeing
•Healthy & Active
Men’s Sheds
A “Sheddie’s” experience
• Mr Burton, 74, a professional trumpet player from
Manchester, After many years of caring for his wife of 50
years, she died after a long battle with cancer and he was
overcome by loneliness after her death, and he admitted
that he turned into ‘a bit of a basket case’
‘When my wife was dying she would say: you’re going to
have to make a life of your own and find something to do!’
‘She spotted the men’s shed and always wanted me to
come along, so I popped in. I found a heap of friends.
Subjects that you thought were off limits – like how you
cope with losing someone – become on limits when you
realise that the guy next to you has had the same
At a glance...
• Australian approach used with significant
• Informal community based environments where
men can meet and work together
• Setting for ‘hands on’ practical work
• Innovative approach to improving men’s health
and wellbeing
• Disguised primary health care strategy
What is a ‘Shed’
• Updated version of the shed in the backyard
• Practical ‘hands on’ activity
• Primarily aimed at older men
• Activity as the “excuse”
How they work
• Improve mental health and subjective wellbeing
‘Connected’ social relationships
‘Meaning’ to their lives
Structured activities
Learn new skills and apply existing ones
Adding years to life?
• Reducing ‘mental distress’
• Family
• Communities
What’s the need?
• Around 23,300 men over 65 in the city
(Older Persons Needs & Aspirations Report, Sunderland City Council, Nov 2010)
• Around 8600 unemployed men aged 16-64
Nomis Official Labour Market Statistics Apr 2010 – Mar 2011
• 38.3% of men (compared to 19.9% for females) drink more
than the recommended safe weekly limits of alcohol
(JSNA 2011, Sunderland City Council)
• 1343 men over 65 suffering with depression
(Older Persons Needs & Aspirations Report, Sunderland City Council, Nov 2010)
Where to start...
• The ‘prime venue’ for a Men’s Shed would be a
community or neighbourhood where evidence
suggests there are:
– A large number of men who are isolated, unemployed,
underemployed or retired.
– Indicators of ‘mental distress’ such as high rates of depression,
suicide, substance and alcohol abuse, reported ‘unhappiness’ and
poor subjective well being.
– Evidence of significant social and community problems for
example crime.
Plans so far...
• Evaluating from the outset
• Have a dedicated staff member researching & evaluating
the work from the outset
• Working with the University of Sunderland
– Kevin Paton – Health promoting environments
– Lieselotte van Leeuwen – Participatory design
– Diane Westwood – Student Involvement
• Participatory Design Approach
• Working with East Durham Trust to learn from their CREE
Key Points
• Must be lead by the Men
• Grass roots approach
• Doesn’t have to be a building
What next...
•We want to work to improve Men’s Health for our
•Already linking with the Public Health Agenda
•Keen to work with health groups
•We welcome your thoughts and ideas...
you put up a sign that says ‘Men’s Health Centre’ men
won’t come. If you put up a sign that says ‘Men’s
Learning Centre’, men won’t come. But if the sign says
‘Men's Shed’, then people will come. And that’s when
the magic begins.”
Contact details...
0191 525 5000