Men In Sheds Taster Day
The Blackpool project held their Men In Sheds Taster day in March.
We have recently completed a small consultation with a local mental health service user group, Inspirations, who have a high male membership. We asked them to consider why fewer men than women are engaging with the Wellbeing project. It was suggested that more courses focused on 'male orientated' activities were needed such as woodworking. During the consultation many of the men suggested that they would like opportunities to try or re-visit skills and trades they have already had some experience in but often do not have access to or cannot afford the tools to do this.
A Men in Sheds type approach was then proposed. Blackpool Adult Learning is currently leading with a steering group to engage men in community based learning activities. Key partners in the steering group include housing providers and a local environmental charity.
We are very lucky to have been offered use of the Blackpool Centre for Independent Living Centres shed every Monday. This shed is kitted out as a woodworking workshop. A session was planned with our key partners assisting with the delivery and recruiting interested tenants.
The men made candle holders from unwanted wood, used a variety of tools and equipment and were shown different finishing techniques. Four Learners attended the event (space is limited for health and safety in the workshop) and all agreed that they really enjoyed the session:
Some spent time reminiscing on when they had first learned to work with wood and how they have applied it since.
All said they enjoyed the session and felt more confident as a result of attending.
All learners stated that the session was worthwhile.
All said that they would like to attend a further course to develop their skills further.
We are now planning a range of sessions in the shed to continue to try and engage further with local men and the steering group are currently working on a bid to secure funds to have a community learning shed...watch this space…