Attached video link of my 90 Second Statement during Plenary at the Welsh Assembly relating to Men’s Sheds Cymru. It’s great to hear about the newly formed ‘Shed Quarters Maesteg’ in the Llynfi Valley following on from the continued success of their neighbours ‘The Squirrels Nest’ based in Tondu. As a previous visitor to the Squirrels Nest Men’s Shed, it is clear to see the positive impacts these groups can have and wish them all the best in their continued success.
Click on photo to play video – see below for text version of statement
90 Second Statement – Men’s Sheds Cymru
The original concept of Men’s Sheds was established in Australia 11 years ago as part of the health infrastructure that supports programs to improve men’s health and well-being and to assist in tackling social isolation.
We are all familiar with the saying ‘From little acorns grow mighty oaks’ – well the Squirrel’s Nest in my constituency of Ogmore, Tondu to be precise, is home to the first working Men’s shed in Wales and since its inception 2002 I have had great pleasure in visiting on a number of occasions. There are currently 34 Men’s Shed in Wales, including Maesteg Shed Quarters, whilst they tend to be self-governed, self-supporting and sustainable, they have access via their official website to expert advice on writing a constitution, funding ideas, understanding health and safety and help with insurance.
Robert Visintainer, involved with the Squirrels Nest, is joint Chair for The Association of Men’s Sheds Cymru and is in the process of setting up the Men’s Shed Cymru co-operative as the main association in Wales with the support of the Wales Cooperative (Centre) – enabling it to become a community benefit society and cooperative – yet another first for Ogmore and for Wales. Robert will be a founder director of the new association.
No two sheds are the same, they’re as individual and diverse as the original back garden shed – a place where men can escape from the stresses of everyday life, a place they can escape to – to pursue their interests with the freedom the ‘shed’ brings, a place where crafters, story-tellers, making music, amateur radio enthusiasts can all be accommodated, and crucially it can be a place where isolation and loneliness are addressed in a friendly environment BUT most of all a place to socialise – where men can chat and enjoy each other’s company.
Previous Meeting With Squirrels Nest