The Southern Health and Social Care Trust is lending its support to Armagh’s Men’s Shed in their bid to win a prestigious National Lottery Award.
The Armagh Men’s Shed has beaten off stiff competition from over 600 projects to be selected as one of the seven finalists in the 2015 National Lottery Awards Health Category.
The Shed is a partnership project between the West Armagh Consortium and the Southern Health and Social Care Trust and offers a safe and welcoming environment where men can meet and socialise and work on various projects.
The project works with older men living across the Armagh City and District area to help improve their quality of life and reduce the likelihood of health inequalities by giving them a wide range of activities to focus on.
Volunteer Sean Toner says: “By taking part in shed activities it has helped put a smile back on my face and given me the get up and go to enjoy my life more. Members are able to gather in the shed and work on meaningful projects at their own pace, in the company of other men”.
The men have engaged in a wide range of programmes including: healthy eating, dementia awareness, suicide prevention and physical activity. Members have also enjoyed practical activities like woodcraft, pottery, and copperwork and they also have a choir which performs at local events.
Paula Clarke, Chief Executive (Interim) for the Southern Trust said: “We know that loneliness and isolation are key factors that affect our health and well-being. Men in Northern Ireland have a lower life expectancy than females and the Men’s Shed is doing great work in tackling health inequalities for men locally.
“By giving them a familiar environment to enjoy a range of activities amongst their peers, they are helping to prevent isolation and promote mental wellbeing as well as providing programmes on health related topics that address physical wellbeing.
“We encourage everyone to get behind Men’s Shed and give them a vote. The prize money would go to great use in benefitting men living in our area and the recognition from such an accolade will really help to raise the profile of men’s health issues.”
The Armagh Men’s Shed is the only group in Northern Ireland to have made it to the Finals of the Health Category and is appealing for votes through http://www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/project/armagh-mens-shed or by calling 0844 836 9698 . Voting online is free but calls will be charged.