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Housing Executive help 'Shedders' in Fermanagh

Published: Wed, 4 May 2016
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“Shedders” Gregory Tierney and John Sheerin, Project Co-Ordinator Eoin McAnuff, Helen Hicks, Fitness Instructor Peter Wilson and “Shedders” Frankie Roofe, Art Cassidy and John Owens.
Mens Shed Group
Reducing social isolation and creating opportunities to develop skills are at the centre of the Men’s Shed in Fermanagh.
Thanks to our funding, for the past six months 48 members of the Men’s Shed Fermanagh in Drumcoo have been able to participate in a range of classes which have supported their good health and mental well-being.
The men have been taking IT, music, upholstery and willow weaving classes as well as experiencing complementary therapies and benefitting from a personal training programme. As a result they have acquired new skills including typing, emailing, up-cycling, playing a musical instrument, weaving and improved their personal fitness.
Sonya Slevin, the project’s co-ordinator, explained:
“The ethos of the programme is to reduce social isolation and to improve mental and physical health for men 60 plus and the new skills they have been learning have all contributed to this. For some having access to computer classes has seen them improve their contact with family and friends as well as benefit from online shopping. In addition the mutual support each member has been giving each other is invaluable. On behalf of us all I’d like to thank the Housing Executive for their support.”
Men's Shed Project Officer Sonya Slevin with therapist Elizabeth Whitehead and Helen Hicks, with Shedder Jimmy Magee.
Mens Shed treatment
Helen Hicks, our Assistant Housing Services Manager, recently visited the Men’s Shed to see how the organisation’s support has been of help to the ‘Shedders’.  She said:
“We were pleased to fund the Fermanagh Men’s Shed through our Community Cohesion team. The camaraderie I saw is one of those intangibles which you can’t measure but you know are at the core of why such projects should be supported.  
“The skills they have been taught are proving invaluable and having the chance to experience complementary therapies in such a welcoming environment is terrific. I commend everyone involved.”
One of the ‘Shedders’, Eugene Corrigan said:
“As I have Parkinson’s disease it is important for me to keep exercising to prevent my muscles and joints from becoming stiff and rigid.  Through the Men’s Shed Fermanagh I am able to avail of a personal training programme twice a week. This is so beneficial for my physical health”
Whilst one of the older members of the Men’s Shed, Gabriel Murphy (aged 87), commented:
“Exercising with the personal trainer twice a week keeps me supple. It is good not only for my physical health but also my mental health.”