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.
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.
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.