Telling the Story of Men’s Sheds
Over the years we have worked with a number of sheds to tell their story. There are a variety of different ways for sheds to evidence the impact they have on shedders, their families and their community. We have found that sheds provide positive views of aging and later life, tackle loneliness and isolation and help older people be as well as they can be.
Demonstrating the difference your Shed is making can be achieved through a diverse range of sources.
There is already research about the impact Men's Sheds are having.
- Age Scotland’s 'The Shed Effect': Shedders in their own words talking about the difference being part of their local shed has made to their lives.
- Age Scotland’s Health and Well-being Survey: The survey evidenced the positive impact of being a Shedder. Men across Scotland were shown to experience improved health and wellbeing by getting involved in their local shed.
- Westhill Social Return on Investment Analysis (SROI): SMSA Westhill Men’s Shed Return on Investment Analysis
Schroeder, J, Sowden, J. & Watt, J. Social Return on Investment: The Westhill and District Men’s Shed, Scottish Men’s Sheds Association (SMSA)
Films are great way of letting people experience a Men’s Sheds and see and hear about the benefits they bring to shedders, their families and their communities.
Age Scotland films: (Watch our Men's Shed's playlist on YouTube)
Scottish Men’s Sheds Association films (SMSA) films
UK Men’s Sheds Association films (UKMSA) Films
Australian Men’s Sheds Association (AMSA films)
Men’s Sheds Cymru films
Irish Men’s Sheds Association (IMSA films)
Films produced by sheds:
- Garnock Valley Men's Shed
- Inverurie Men's Shed
- Rhins Men’s Shed
- The Wee County Men’s Shed
Films made by broadcasting companies
Academic research can also provide useful information to help you show the impact of a Men's Shed.
What Makes us Healthy? The Asset Approach in Practice. Jane Foot: (2012)
The personal and community impact of a Scottish Men's Shed Emma J. Foster, Sarah‐Anne Munoz MA (Hons) MSc PhD, Stephen J. Leslie BSc MBChB PhD FRCP 21 February 2018
Men’s sheds as an alternative healthcare route? A qualitative study of the impact of Men’s sheds on user’s health improvement behavioursKelly, D., Steiner, A., Mason, H. et al. BMC Public Health 21, 553 (2021).
Men’s Sheds: a conceptual exploration of the causal pathways for health and wellbeing, Kelly, D., Steiner, A., Mason, H. and Teasdale, S. (2019) Health & Social Care in the Community, 27(5), 1147–1157.
Men's Sheds in Scotland the potential for improving the health of men, Journal of Public Health Policy. Kelly, D., Teasdale, S. Steiner, A., and Mason, H (2021)
Sheds for Sustainable Development Project (The health and wellbeing impacts of Men’s Sheds on their users) Danielle Kelly, Artur Steiner, Simon Teasdale, Helen Mason
Sheds for Sustainable Development Project (Sheds for sustainable development) Danielle Kelly, Artur Steiner, Simon Teasdale, Helen Mason
Men’s Sheds as an alternative route for male health engagement. (Sheds for Sustainable Development Project Briefing Report) Danielle Kelly, Artur Steiner, Simon Teasdale, Helen Mason
Making Community: The Wider Role of Makerspaces in Public Life, Nick Taylor Ursula Hurley and Philip Connolly
Building Men’s Sheds in Scotland Joint Improvement Team (JIT)
Study protocol: evaluation of sheds for life (SFL): a community-based men’s health initiative designed “for shedders by shedders” in Irish Men’s sheds using a hybrid effectiveness-implementation design BMC Public Health 21, 801 (2021)
Men’s sheds: the perceived health and wellbeing benefits. Working with Older People, Crabtree, L., Tinker, A., Glaser, K. (2017). 22(2), 101-110
The Men's Shed Movement: The Company of Men Barry Golding (Editor) (2015) Common Ground Publishing
Other ways to tell the story of your Shed
- Newspaper articles (e.g. The Press and Journal , The Courier, The Orcadian, Daily Record, The Scotsman , The Herald , Greenock Telegraph , The Southern Reporter and Inverness Courier.)
- Harvesting social media posts for testimonials from organisations and individuals that have benefitted from shed activities.
- Social media posts made by the Shed.
- Keep attendance records to show levels of membership and use of the shed are being maintained or growing.
- Anonymised or named case studies
- Minutes of meetings
- Impact boxes (which are like suggestion boxes but ask specifically for evidence of impact)
- One or two-word endorsements by shedders or shed supporters.
- If health professionals have been working in Shed and gathered data make sure they share what they’ve collected with you.
- Share evaluation tools that have worked with SMSA (to be available to members through the Resource Library) and with Men’s Shed networks.
- Scottish Parliament Debates and Motions (Scottish Parliament Members' Business: Men's Sheds March 21, 2019 12:45 and
Scottish Parliament Members' Business: Men's Sheds February 18, 2021 17:05)
Sources of Support with Evaluation
The below resources will help us evaluate your impact.
Better Evaluation: A global collaboration aimed at improving evaluation practice and theory through co-creation, curation, and sharing information.
Centre for Ageing Better has a range of free-to-use ‘age-positive’ icons launched to replace stereotypical symbols of ageing.
Learning, Evaluation and Planning (LEAP) is software designed to be a useful tool in project, programme and policy planning and development.
Scottish Community Development Council is the national lead body for community development in Scotland.
Evaluation Support Scotland provides support through evaluation tools and resources, workshops and tailored support, case studies and blogs.
- Evaluation Support Scotland, Evidence from Elsewhere: Gathering, analysing and using other people’s evidence (2017)
- Evaluation Support Scotland, Evidence for Success: The guide to getting evidence and using it (2014)
Funding Officers e.g. Corra Foundation
Funding Organisation Community Champions in supermarkets, housing developers, utilities and renewable projects.
Learning Link Scotland Evidencing the Impact
The National Lottery Community Fund awards money raised by National Lottery players to fund great ideas that help communities to thrive. It has resources on evaluating their funded projects.
Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations has training opportunities in writing funding applications and evidencing impact / evaluation.
Scottish Government National Performance Framework sets out ‘National Outcomes’.
These outcomes describe the kind of Scotland it aims to create:
- reflect the values and aspirations of the people of Scotland
- are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
- help to track progress in reducing inequality
Got a question?
If you would like to find out more about Men's Sheds and how you can get involved, contact our Men's Shed Community Development Officer Tim Green. He'll be glad to hear from you.