Category Archives: Mens Sheds

Women’s Sheds

Women’s Sheds Internationally

Updated 6 August 2020

 Professor (Adjunct) Barry Golding & Associate Professor Annette Foley (Federation University Australia, Ballarat); Dr Lucia Carragher (Dundalk Institute of Technology, Dundalk, Ireland)

Email for Australian and NZ updates:  b.golding@federation.edu.au

Email for Irish & UK updates: lucia.carragher@dkit.ie 

Introduction

The history and development of the now international Men’s Sheds movement is reasonably well known (The Men’s Shed Movement: The Company of Men, 2015).

Around the same time that Barry Golding was researching this book, a small number of shed-based community organisations had begun to spring up in Australia and elsewhere that were created instead mainly for and by women. In the five years since there has been a significant growth in the number of Women’s Sheds (some called ‘She Sheds’), some as offshoots of existing Men’s Sheds, planned or opened, particularly in Australia, Ireland and the UK.

We aim to progressively map the field internationally and share whatever information individual Sheds are happy to contribute.

What follows outlines the international situation in relation to the emerging ‘Women’s Sheds’ movement to August 2020. It is evident from the rapidly expanding table at the foot of this blog that there was a sufficient number of such Women’s ‘Sheds open or active before the COVID19 shutdown, to undertake this initial international scoping study.

Given that many Shed-based community organizations including Women’s Sheds have been in partial or total lockdown during 2020, we have relied on publicly available information from the web, augmented by information provided by informants via email and published in this data base with their permission.

At least one half of Women’s Sheds open or developing (before the early 2020 COVID19 shutdown)  had a publicly available email address on the internet and most have a Facebook site. Around one quarter of the rest have a publicly accessible contact name, phone number or physical location.

Our first aim as researchers is, with the assistance of Women;’s Shed practitioners and national Men’s Sheds organisations to fill in the missing gaps’in the Table below and make this Women’s Shed database publicly accessible. We  plan to regularly update this blog as new information comes in. We anticipate this will enable individuals and organisations developing Women’s Sheds to network, contact, learn from and support each other.

Barry Golding used a similar process to create and circulate a Men’s Shed data base to inform and productively support early Australian Men’s Sheds between 2005 and 2007. Since 2007 the Australian database has been maintained by the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA). Since the creation of IMSA in Ireland, UKMSA in the UK and MENZ Shed in New Zealand during the past decade, searchable ‘Find a Men’s Shed’ sites have been available online in Australia, Ireland, the UK and New Zealand.

Our second aim is to more closely identify the scale, scope, spread, nature and impact of the Women’s Shed sector. We are aware from our previous research into the impact of Men’s Sheds on communities and individuals, that governments and not-for-profit organisations make funding decisions that rely on rigorously collected evidence and research. To this point no such reliable evidence is available for Women’s Sheds.

We anticipate publishing an academic paper later in 2020 scoping the phenomenon, leading to a proposed field-based international research study during 2021, assuming that it is COVID-19 safe to conduct interviews.

Separately, we are currently writing up field research based on interviews we have recently conducted in Australian and Irish Men’s Sheds, that is examining the impact of Men’s Sheds on significant others, particularly wives and partners of male shedders. In the process we have come across a number of rural Men’s Sheds where women participate and are involved in the Shed, sometimes on equal terms with men.

It is clear that many women also and separately enjoy somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk with, sometimes in the company of other women. Our research should produce some useful, new and timely evidence about the impact of Women’s Sheds.

Women’s Sheds

Women’s Sheds are essentially community places and spaces where women can come together at any life stage, engage in a variety of activities and connect with other women in an all (or mostly) female environment. While most adopt an organisation title which puts the name of the place first, e.g. ‘Port Macquarie Women’s Shed’, around one third put ‘Women’s Shed’ up front, e.g. ‘Women’s Shed Seymour’.

Many Women’s Sheds have been created as grassroots community organisations, typically led by one or a small number of passionate and well-networked women. Most make good use of social media, particularly Facebook, and many have dedicated websites.

Some Women’s Sheds have emerged as separate entities or been operating out of or through an existing Men’s Shed organisation or building. Some began or are now operated in an auspice arrangement through an existing community organisation such as a community centre. Others have been set up independently as stand alone Women’s Shed organisations, though relatively few appear to own their own premises.

The rationale for particular Women’s Sheds appears similarly diverse. What is different from Men’s Sheds, at least superficially, is that very few appear to be focused specifically on older women. Most have been driven by a perceived community need to connect, empower and involve women of all ages.

It is clear from the information generously provided by Women’s Sheds in the tables below that many are struggling with recognition, finding it hard to attract funding and create a permanent meeting place. These issues were common to many early Men’s Sheds before the movement gained traction and Sheds started to actively network and share.

Despite their positive ideals and early successes, some early Women’s Sheds are now closed or in recess as a consequence of feeling isolated and lacking community support, even before the COVID19 pandemic. As researchers committed to being of assistance, we hope that our blog helps identify some of the common difficulties as well as provides some common solutions and future possibilities.

Context for the development of Women’s Sheds to 2020

Barry Golding’s (2015) The Men’s Shed Movement book includes four pages (pp.364-367) summarizing data on the critically important role of women in creating and supporting individual Men’s Sheds as well as the now international movement. In Australia where the first Men’s Sheds opened over two decades ago, decisions about women’s involvement in the shed as participants has typically been made at a local level. Whilst in most Australian Men’s Sheds it is solely or mainly men who participate in the shed activity, a small number of Men’s Sheds include women as equal members and participants.

Quite a number of Men’s Sheds have separate programs and days for women. Some ‘Women’s Sheds’ operate out of preexisting Men’s Sheds. A small number of sheds are badged as ‘Community Sheds’ or Community Men’s Sheds in order to be more inclusive of women. Some Shed-based organisations also involve children as participants.

She Sheds

A small number of community-run Shed-based organizations for and by women  call themselves ‘She Sheds’.

Evidence online suggests that the term ‘She Shed’ otherwise refers mainly to personal and private shed-type places and spaces in the house or back yard. A Google search on the term suggests that a ‘Shed Shed’ is:

… a female man cave. It is a dedicated space in the home set aside just for the woman of the house. It can a place for recreation, rejuvenation and enjoying personal activities. Most of all it is a female sanctum dedicated entirely to the woman.

Consistent with the above, a 179 full-colour book by Erika Kotite, She Sheds: A room of your own published in January 2017 encourages women to:

… Create your very own hideaway for relaxing, crafting, reading, or just to have a private place just for you. She Sheds provides the instruction and inspiration in this lovely gift-able edition. They’ve got their man caves, and it’s time for you to have a space of your own.

It is evident that many commercial businesses are riding the personal She Shed wave, offering products to help construct  or enhance backyard She Sheds.

Other Women’s Shed name variants

A small number of what are effectively Women’s Shed-based organisations use other names, typically also including the name of the locality,  including ‘Shelia’s Shack’, ‘Shelia’s Shed’, ‘Ladies Shed’, ‘Fix it Sisters Shed’ and ‘Her Cave’.

Whilst we have not included Shed-based community organisations on our data base which call themselves ‘Community Sheds’,  ‘Community Men’s Sheds’ or ‘Men’s Shed’s, we acknowledge that such Sheds sometimes include some or many women as members.

A brief history of community-based Sheds for and by women

Whilst it is far too early to write a definitive history of the Women’s Sheds Movement, there is evidence that the idea and practice has evolved within the past decade and accelerated in the past five years to 2020.  In many ways it appears to be a female response to and mirroring of the development of Men’s Sheds, but tailored to women’s sometimes different needs and interests.

National Men’s Shed peak bodies in Australia and Ireland (AMSA & IMSA) have recently begun to acknowledge and provide logistical support for some Women’s Sheds.

Governments in Ireland and Australia have also begun to acknowledge or include Women’s Sheds in their funding rounds. In January 2020, 22 Women’s Sheds across Ireland as well as 339 Men’s Sheds were acknowledged for the first time as being eligible for a total pool of funding of a half million Euro to help purchase equipment and carry out works.

Women’s Sheds international data base to July 2020

Our data base below, summarised in dot point below, confirms that more than approximately 100  Women’s Sheds (or similarly named equivalent community organisations) were likely to have previously been operating internationally, being planned or under development before the COVID-19 lockdown to early 2020.

Summary to early 2020

  • Australia: 61 on data base, 31 likely active or open.
  • Ireland: 21 on data base, 7 likely active or open.
  • UK: 14 on data base,12 likely active or open.
  • NZ: 1 on data base, 1 likely  active or open.
  • TOTAL: 97 on data base, 51 likely active or open.

To 6 August 2020 we have validated data returned  from a total of 20 Women’s Sheds internationally.

Almost one half of all sheds  on the international data base were in Australia, with around one quarter on the Island of Ireland and one quarter in England, Scotland or Wales, with at least one in New Zealand. Our aim is to confirm which Women’s Sheds on this list were actually open to March 2020 and which are being planned or under development.

We have sent an email to each Women’s Shed organization requesting additional information to be included in this publicly available data base.

If you see a Women’s Shed in the Table that is missing, have updated information or have a contact for a Shed that has ‘awaiting email contact’,  please let us know.

Specifically, Women’s Sheds informants have been invited to provide information about the location, status, type of Shed, the origin, intention and targeted women, opening days and times  (if open before the March 2020 COVID19 lockdown), stage of development and basic contact details (website, email, key contact person).

We will progressively update Tables 1-4 , below (for Australia, the Island of Ireland, the UK and New Zealand), including the new information as responses come in. If you are able to fill any of the gaps or see something that is incorrect, please email Barry Golding: b.golding@federation.edu.au

 

 

Meantime, please  watch this space. Sheds for which information was derived online including from Facebook are shown in bold italics.  Where additional information has been provided and shared by the Shed organisation the Shed name is shown in bold, We have added a star * to Sheds that appeared to be active or open to early 2020.

Table 1: Australia (61)

Name of Shed (State) Established

( *Open)

Publicly available information
New South Wales (34: 10 validated )
Orange Women’s Shed Inc. (NSW) 2018* FACEBOOK: 0437006224: choices@orange.nsw.gov.au: Awaiting response from Michelle Einsaar meinsaar@hotmail.com
Parramatta Women’s Shed (NSW) 9 Dec 2018* http://www.bower.org.au/sheds: media@bower.org.au: ‘Partnership between Supporting and linking Tradeswomen (SALT), The Bower & City of Parramatta’. Meet every third Wed 6-8pm at The Bower, Parramatta. ‘A creative social group pf women of all ages who share their individual skills.’ Awaiting email response.
Albury Women’s Shed (NSW) * FACEBOOK: alburywomensshed@gmail.com: 0476166577: http://www.alburywomen’sshed.org.au. Awaiting email response. Open Mon & Fri 10-1, Wed 4.30-7.30pm. ‘Aimed at empowering women that are learning together about renovation, repair and using tools’.
Ulladulla Woman’s Shed (NSW)* formed 2014/15* Premises in Aug 2015, Awaiting email contact, 2014 President Jan McKay
Her Cave Inc, (Kanwal, NSW)* 2016* FACEBOOK: hercave1@gmail.com: 0415281920,  www.hercave.org.au Contact Regina Doyle (President), http://www.hercave.org.au. Aim ‘To share handcraft skills for very low cost and help create friendships, on the Central Coast [NSW] area. … No age limits!!! ‘Any women needing friendships to learn new skills and combat loneliness’.Ipen Mon, Wed & Fri 9.30-2.30 and Sat 11-4, 41 Pearce Road, Kanwal; Also open at The Entrance, Tuesdays. 10-2. Group ranges in age from 20 through to  80s. ‘We don’t discriminate on age or sex as to men learning to sew’. ‘We would dearly love to have our own place like the Men’s Sheds, but as we are not associated with other Women’s Sheds it makes it very hard to get somewhere we can use solely at a low rent. Many of our members are medically unfit to move furniture back and forth to a storage space.’
Noosa Women’s Shed (NSW)* 2017* Made contact; awaiting email response
The Hills Women’s Shed (Sydney, NSW)* 2018* An initiative of Positive Vibes Foundation, a charity organisation, see: http://www.positivevibes.org.au,  Active Facebook Page, The Hills Womens Shed. (THWS) Contact thehillswomensshed@positivevibes.org.au, Mercedes or Jeanette 0408549530.  ‘A progressive organisation pulsating with a community heart: Women focussed, man & family friendy’. ‘We have a calendar of events including mental health events, gardening, sewing classes, cooking classes, succulents activities, beauty and wellbeing etc for our community group. We welcome the community in general, including women from different cultural backgrounds and also some male members. Everyone is welcome to our sessions, events and classes. We are working hard with the community to break the stigma of mental health.’
Women’s Shed on the Lake (Lake Macquarie, NSW)* 2017* FACEBOOK: womensshedonthelake@gmail.com, 0458407749  ‘inclusive group for women of all ages’, Fri 9-12, Warner’s Bay Baptist Church Hall.  ‘Our group was formed in October 2016 and is an activity of a Community Centre (Our Community Place) situated in Boolaroo, Lake Macquarie NSW. We are open to women of all ages. In the beginning we met fortnightly and were supported by a worker from the community centre. Over time our members have formed a committee and have become responsible for the management of the group. We are also financially independent, raising funds to support the group. Our group meets weekly now and we have  at least 25-30 women attending weekly. The Committee manages a program which includes craft experiences, outings, speakers from a variety of organisations of interest to the women as well as community projects which support local organisations. Our biggest challenge so far has been to find a permanent home which suits the needs of the group..’ Margaret Standen, Sub-committee, Women’s Shed on the Lake
Community Community Women’s Shed Kurri Kurri  (NSW)* 2015* Contact made via Dee Phelps Threlfo dee1806@gmail.com: FACEBOOK: communitywomensshed.kurrikurri@gmail.com; Thurs & Fri, 9.30-1. ‘Bringing women together. For women of all ages & backgrounds’.
Women’s Shed, Forster (NSW) opened July 2010, closed 2014 Affiliated  with  Forster Neighbourhood Centre (FNC) Original intention ‘to support women of all ages and backgrounds. A meeting place – a giving and receiving place’. ‘Representatives from various Great Lakes district organisations and services visited the FNC’s Women’s Shed to share information about the services that they provide to the community. Some of the group activities included:Free health checks – Blood Pressure & Blood Sugar Check, Catering for community events and the soup kitchen, Fundraising for women, children and families in crisis, Self-defence classes, Local History Walks, Singing and Poetry.
Port Macquarie Women’s Shed (NSW) Oct 2015* ‘Building confidence, capability and connection’. FACEBOOK: contact Jill Borrie: portmacquariewomensshed@gmail.com, awaiting email response.
(2) Two Sheds Workshop: (Bega, NSW & Canberra, ACT) 2014 (Bega) & 2017 (Canberra)** ‘Addressing the entrenched gender gap in the building industry’: Woodwork for Women and Kids; 0419286507,   Website www.twoshedsworkshops.com.au
Inner West Women’s Shed (Dulwich Hill, NSW) April 2013 (first in Australia). Closed due to COVID19* ‘Working to Honor and Empower Women’; met Wed pm in Seaview Hall before shutdown. Membership $10 per annum since 2013. No contact or other details available. ‘There are no plans to meet again due to concerns about health and well being of members, many of whom are in the high risk category.’
Wagga Wagga Women’s Shed  Inc. (NSW) 2017* FACEBOOK: waggawaggawomensshed@hotmail.com: Open five days a week before shutdown, 300 members: 0403875590, Awaiting email response. ‘A place to unite local women through community connection, knowledge & friendship, working together in a safe environment to develop skills, enable goals, exchange experience, create, empower & support each other;
Hunter Valley Women’s Shed (Maitland, NSW) floated 2017 FACEBOOK: ‘women coming together, empowering each other to learn and gain skills.’ awaiting email address.
Narromine Community Women’s Shed (NSW) April 2013 (second in Australia)* FACEBOOK: 0487200987, awaiting email address.
Lithgow Area Women’s Shed (NSW) 2019 Private FACEBOOK, ‘A place where all women in Lithgow area are welcome to come and join us’, with a strong emphasis on’ building women; seeking a permanent home.
Hornsby & Ku-ring-gai Women’s Shed  (NSW) 15 May 2019 FACEBOOK:Via PCYP Hornsby: womensshedhk@gmail.com. ‘providing a safe, inclusive & supportive space for women to learn & connect through sharing stories, experiences & knowledge.’ Awaiting email response.
Griffith Women’s Shed (Yoogali, NSW) Open 6 Nov 2018* griffithwomensshed@gmail.com, Carol Johnson, President, awaiting response.
Robertson Women’s Shed (Southern Highlands, NSW) Being planned Nov 2018 .Karon Sacks 0406027762, Awaiting email contact
SALT SkillWomen Shed (Quakers Hill, NSW)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OTHERS IN NSW: (11)

 

SALT begun 2009, SALT Shed Launched Nov 2017 qhshed@saltaustralia.org.au: Website  www.saltaustralia.org.au Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saltskillwomenshed. Marti Fletcher runs the Shed in consultation with Fi Shewring and other volunteers  plus the SALT office. ‘Supporting And Linking Tradeswomen (SALT) began in 2009 and since 20012 has run a very unique mobile workshop which has travelled across Australia teaching mostly women and girls but boys and men as well. SALT
has taught thousands of people basic tool skills via the mobile SALT workshops which have been a huge success, but many people kept saying to us “But I want to learn more!”. When we began the mobile workshops in 2012, we contacted some Men’s Sheds to see if
we could use some space to provide a workshop on a regular basis. The response was not positive so we stayed completely mobile but the idea grew that we could easily run our own shed. Initially,
the biggest issue was finding a space which was ours for little cost. We followed a number of leads in Wollongong but nothing eventuated until I met Marti, an electrician from Blacktown. She ‘took the bit between her teeth’ and not only found a space but contacted Blacktown Council who were completely supportive. When we first gained access to what became the ‘SALT Shed’, it was in a sad condition. We cleaned, installed and built benches and Blacktown Council helped with some necessary repairs to the structure. The SALT Shed was launched in November 2017. One of the unique things about the SALT Shed is that it is run by tradeswomen from many different trades. Wehave since run many courses s such as the Basic Tool Skills course (which is the crux of the Mobile workshop)s but we have also run workshops on paving, using jigsaws and scroll saws as well as security in the home and many others. There is also ;Tinker Time; which is space and time each week for Shed members to bring in their own projects; the tradespeople support them with tool knowledge and safety. It has been quite extraordinary what has been achieved during these times from cutting down bar stools to match existing ones to creating very personal memorials to lost loved ones. Blacktown Council have been amazingly supportive of the Shed with SALT tradies giving their time voluntarily to staff and run it. Courses are run on a material cost and offer a great deal of support to people, whether it is just to learn basics to help themselves in their own home or to increase their skills in a range of tools. We have also connected with a number of other Sheds and provided the Basic Tool Skills Workshop to many of them on a regular basis. Membership of the SALT Shed is for a year and to join you need to book into a Basic Tool Skills Workshop and complete this first course. For a very small fee this gives you not only membership of the Shed for a year but also inducts you on how the Shed works, safety and how to use the basic tools. The Shed’s aims are SALTs aims, plus providing a space where people can learn and gain skills in a safe environment. 

Arncliffe: Fix  it Sisters Shed:  FACEBOOK, hello@fixitsistersshed.org.au, ’empowering women of all ages with practical and creative skills, founded 2018*, awaiting email response.

Cessnock Community Women’s Shed: FACEBOOK, cessnockwomensshed@gmail.com 0456213604, ‘inclusive group for all women’, awaiting email response.

Coonamble Women’s Shed: FACEBOOK, coonamblewomensshedinc2829@gmail.com. ‘about helping women escape the everyday pressures that life throws up. So come along and have some fun’. awaiting email response.

Corowa and District SHE Shed Inc.: FACEBOOK, meet Corowa CWA Rooms, Wed 10-2, Basia (shed supervisor) 0419630101.), awaiting email address.

Walan Wirringah Women’s Group (Dubbo): Aboriginal Community Garden Group: awaiting email address.

Mullumbimby Women’s Shed: FACEBOOK, a welcoming sacred space fro women and girls to connect, grow & ;earn in an atmosphere of generosity and goodwill’, Community Gardens Rotunda Thurs 2-4.. awaiting email address*,

Women’s Shed  (Marian House), Karuah, Myall Coast Catholic Parish, awaiting email address.

Sheila’s Shed, Tuncurry, FACEBOOK: 0481148029, started 2017, creative art & craft roup, awaiting email address

Clarence River U3A Women’s Shed, 2016.  Open, Doreen Plyman, Group Leader and one of the founding members.   We began in mid 2012 with 6 women and now operate with a membership of approx. 60 women. We meet at the Men’s Shed in Townsend NSW every Friday from 0900 to 1500 and apart from 3 months closure from April till 24th June we have operated continuously.   During covid 19 we have implemented the necessary restrictions placed upon us.   When someone new joins us they are taught how to operate both wood and metalwork machinery and hand tools to enable them to safely exist in a workshop environment.   On their first day they make their own toolbox.   We have a male mentor to assist if necessary, current contact:  email t.d.plymin@optusnet.com.au, 0423632404. The local U3A organisation has a website which is cru3a.u3anet.org.au. Our main aim is to provide a safe and friendly environment for women to learn new skills and socialise with their peers.   To join our Women’s Shed you need to be over 50 and not working full time as we come under U3A and must meet their membership criteria.’

The Ladies’ Shed, Kempsey kempseymensshed@gmail.com,  Tuesday’s 10-2 in the Kempsey Men’s Shed*, awaiting email response.

Wyong Women’s Shed, FACEBOOK carryoncrafting@outlook.com, 0491769935, awaiting email response.

Queensland (6: 3 validated)
The Sheila’s Shack Inc., Nerang. 2013 0490815790
Women’s Shed Townsville (Qld) 2019 Awaiting email contact, ‘to provide women with a similar experience as men’
Charters Towers Women of the Outback Shed (Qld [first in Qld] 2015/ 2016* Drought stricken, outback community: Response:  ‘Part of, and represented in and by The Australian Mens’ Shed Association and adhere to Covid 19 guidelines produced by the Queensland State Government and the Australian Federal Government.’
Toowoomba Women’s Shed (Qld) 2019*  Contact Jean Turner: 0488126282,jeantob136@hotmail.com. ‘Toowoomba Womens Shed became a reality when the women who are part of it decided that we needed to work for helping our own community . We had been associated with Sewing For Charity Australia and all our handmade goods were being sent round Brisbane and down thru the eastern states .The core group have been meeting and sewing items for 4-5 years. but we became the Womens Shed about a year ago (2019) .We now meet in a shed belonging to a church here in Toowoomba and meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays but looking at that being extended to more days. We sew, talk, laugh and have a nurturing effect on our joint lives. Facebook is Toowoomba Women’s Shed . We aim to produce usable worthwhile items for needy people i.e. Aged care homes, school groups in lower socioeconomic areas hospitals, child care and wild life carers to name a few . We are basically in the age range 60-90. Some ladies come every week. Sometimes we deliver work to them and give their lives purpose that they are helping others. It was my dream and it is fulfilling for all of us and it is a joy to watch the new ones blossom and change in confidence and abilities as the time goes on.’
Coolum Women’s Shed (Qld)

 

 

 

OTHERS IN QLD: (1)

Opened  Dec 2018 (closed during COVID19 but very active online)* Building community amongst women of the Sunshine Coast. Open Tues & Thurs to all adult women: some evenings and weekend activities: currently approx. 300 members. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WomensShed. Main Shed activities pilates, yoga & meditation, arts & crafts, vocal  & guitar groups, walking , gardening DIY. Shed Contact Nell Harvey or Monita Griffiths: coolumwomensshed@gmail.com, Web wwwthewomensshed.org. Currently hiring space from a Men’s Shed (26 Research Street, Coolum Beach Queensland 4573), looking for own space.

Harrisville Women’s Shed (Scenic Rim near Beaudesert): Anglican Parish, operating 2016.*

South Australia (2)
Playford Women’s Shed (Davoren Park, SA) 2019* FACEBOOK, Mon-Fri 10-4. Old Para West Adult Campus, Raelene Wlochowicz 0409576003
Ooodnadatta Women’s Shed http://www.dunjiba.org
Western Australia (4)
North Coastal Women’s Shed (Yanchep & The Rocks, WA) Women of all ages, fostering health and wellbeing: FACEBOOK  Contact Lyn Haast info@ncws.org.au 0430647071, Mon & Thurs 9-2, Jenolan Way Community Centre.
Rockingham Women’s Shed (WA) Being developed Feb 2020 Awaiting email contact. Kelly Clear key proponent.
Perth Women’s Shed (Stirling, WA) Being considered 2019 The ‘Women Working with Wood Association’ currently operates from the Stirling Community Men’s Shed; 12 month pilot: Awaiting email contact
Ellenbrook Women’s Shed (20 km NE of Perth. WA) Inaugural meeting June 2019, Under construction 2020 ‘Mission to Empower Women’: Awaiting email contact
Victoria (14: 1 validated)
Women’s Shed Seymour (Vic) Open 1 June 2016* ‘Somewhere safe and warm for women to go, have a cuppa, chat and share skills’: Awaiting email contact,, Amanda 0431193204 or Dale 0408035741, open every Wed, Seymour Presbyterian Church Hall.
Women’s Shed of Victoria (Vic) 2016 Incorporated Association (13 May 2016) via Broadford Community Centre: Awaiting email contact, Twitter @womensshedvic
The Frankston Centre Women’s Shed  (Vic) Orwil Street Community House: Georgina Portelli Coordinator, Awaiting email contact
Women’s Sharing Shed (Torquay, Vic) * Torquay Community House initiative: FACEBOOK: 0421995684 wsst@torquaycommunityhouse.org.au OR womenssharingshedtorquay@gmail.com
Rupanyup and District Women’s Shed (Vic) www.rupanyupwomensshed.org.au: administratively relocated to Eagle Point, Gippsland. Not operating as a Women’s Shed in Rupanyup.
Beechworth Women’s Shed (Vic)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OTHER VICTORIAN: (8)

Incorporated Association since 2017*

 

 

 

 beechworthwomensshed@gmail.com. Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WomensShedBeechworth. Contact Margy Barwood, President: ‘We have struggled for recognition since our incorporation in Feb 2017. Our main problem is acquiring a public space to meet & work. For over 2 years I have given the members free space in my private garage. If our council for the Indigo Shire, Victoria was more supportive our Shed would grow 10 fold with out doubt. Our local  Men’s Shed has their own space and receives ongoing support. Not so with our Womens Shed. The men also refuse to allow us access to their space. We have our equipment, tools etc but no community space to invite new members. I find it difficult to receive complete strangers on my property for security reasons.The response for Council assistance to date has been ignored other than a very small shared space we tried for about 5 months. It did not work as we could not leave our equipment out. All of our furniture, tool boxes, fold up tables & consumables had to locked away after every workshop into a very tiny toilet & wash area that was not even big enough to get a wheel chair in. Our members are mainly seniors some with disabilities and this was beyond us. Rather than create conflict in a our small town we moved everything out of the 1950’s building and carted it all to my private garage. My driveway is very steep so it is not age friendly. This has worked as a temporary solution but we are on the look out for a more suitable space.Whilst it is our desire to to grow our Association we now have to be realistic to each other and ask if it is worth continuing.’ Original aim’Up cycle, DIY & creative projects designed to foster kinship with local women for social fulfilment. BWS promotes self-dependence, confidence and resilience within our rapidly changing environment’.

She Shedders, Emerald:  FACEBOOK, awaiting email contact.

Healesville Women’s Shed: admin@healesvillelearningcentre.org, Yarra Ranges Shire, 03 59625982

Lilydale Women’s Shed: FACEBOOK, Mt Evelyn Community House , Nicky Condell0, Manager: nicky@mtevelynch.com.au, awaiting email response.

The Women’s Shed, Mount Martha: wiley1@netspace.net.au, 03 59744072, ‘Time out for women of all ages’

The She Shed Ocean Grove:FACEBOOK, 0403939709, ‘Connect, learn, grow, share, heal, cry, laugh, be’.

Shepparton Women’s Shed Association: FACEBOOK, 03 58215770,d

“The Kookaburra Girls” Shed, Werribee Community Shed FACEBOOK 03 87426448

Castlemaine Women’s Shed FACEBOOK an idea, late 2019

 

 

Tasmania (1) Central Coast Community Shed: Ladies Group (Ulverstone)*, FACEBOOK, Tues 1-3 ,Melissa Budgeon 03 94298959

 

Table 2: Ireland (21, but reportedly as many as 33 in January 2020)

Name of Shed (County) Established Publicly available information
Beara Women’s Shed (Allihies, West Cork) 2018* FACEBOOK, ‘Place for women in the Beara region to socialize, chat and share their skills in a supportive environment’. active 2020: Awaiting email response
Midleton Women’s Shed (Cork) 2019 FACEBOOK In Midleton Community Garden: Awaiting email contact +353 89 2350238, magda.rydzanicz@gmail.com, ‘safe friendly place where ladies can enjoy great company while learning new skills’
Ennis Women’s Shed (Clare) 2014 FACEBOOK ‘Fifth in the world, 1st in Europe’, closed in 2017, ‘ask not want you can do for your shed, but what your shed can do for you’
Castlebar Women’s Shed (Mayo) 2016* FACEBOOK: At Le Cheile Family Resource Centre; active to 2020, meets Mon & Wed: castlebarwomensshed@gmail.com, +353 85 7296458.
Oasis Breffni Women’s Shed Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim) * Meets once a month based out of the Breffni Family Resource Centre
New Ross Women’s Shed (Wexford) 2016 FACEBOOK:closed in 2017
Greencastle Community Women’s Shed (Donegal) Funded 2019 Awaiting email contact
Rosses Women’s Shed / Sciobol Ban na Rosann (Donegal) Funded 2019 Active to 2020, Awaiting email address
Inver Women’s Shed Project (Mayo) Awaiting email contact, Ann Conway contact person,
Tomhaggard Women’s Shed (Wexford) 2016, Funded Jan 2020* FACEBOOK, Meet Monday 10am-1pm in the old schoolhouse: Awaiting email contact
Women’s Shed Cooley (Louth) 2015 FACEBOOK On the Cooley Peninsua, Cooley Sports Complex, Coffeys Tuesdays 7.30pm, no longer operating
Third Space Galway Women’s Shed (Galway) 2019 likely in staggered occupancy with Cró na bhFear Maighcuilinn  {Men’s Shed], received funding 2019
Strokestown Women’s Shed (Roscommon); started 2018, highly active to 2020, Tuesdays 2pm. Awaiting contact and email address.
Edenderry Women’s Shed (Offaly) 2016* FACEBOOK, to be part of a group to share and learn crafts, art. DIY, personal development, Meets Fridays, active to 2020, awaiting contact and email address
Dunboyne Women’s Shed (Meath) FACEBOOK, Awaiting email contact. ‘to rekindled friendships, spark up new ones and there might be a cup of tea thrown in for good measure’.
Deise Women’s Shed (Dungarven, Waterford) 2019* ‘180 women, the biggest such group in the country’, ‘set up to combat rural and social isolaton’: Awaiting email contact.
Ballina Women’s Heritage Shed (Mayo)

 

 

OTHERS  IN IRELAND: (4)

FACEBOOK, Providing a welcome and positive environment for women to meet and connect: ballinawomensshed@gmail.com, +353 85 2732551, Awaiting email response

 

Women’s Shed Belleek*, FACEBOOK meets several times a week in Belleek Community Centre. ‘when women support each other incredible things happen’. _44 28 68659799 . Ladies 18* meet Monday 7.30-9 at Belleeek Community Centre to participate in various activities, drink tea, eat cake, learn new skills and have a laugh/

Drumlish Balinamuck Women’s Shed in (Longford). FACEBOOK

Dublin’s First Women’s Shed‘, opened 2014, closed 2015.

Rosslare Women’s Shed closed, commenced in mid-2010s,

Table 3: UK (14: 6 validated)

Name of Shed (Location) Established

 

Publicly available information
Bellshill Women’s Shed (Uddingston, South Lanarkshire, England) 2018* Women’s DIY Workshop, Co-hosted by Bellshill Men’s Shed. FACEBOOK bellshillwomensshed@gmail.com , +44 7851 932293, Awaiting email response, Wed & Fri 11.30-2.30pm
Whitby Women’s Shed (The She Shed) (North Yorkshire, England) Opened Dec 2017* www.whitby-womens-shed.org.uk Awaiting email contact, offshoot of SAMS Men’s Shed in Littlebeck
She Shed Association (2: Barnsley She Shed, [Open Fri 10-1] & Sheffield She Shed [Open Tues & Wed 11-4] , South Yorkshire, England) Launched 8 March 2017. (International Women’s Day) Open before COVID19** www.sheshed.org; Targeting older women. Used as a  women’s ‘maker place case study’ by Dr Busayawan Lam of Brunel University. Post about opening: https://www.sheshed.org.uk/post/158116317149. Contact: Sandra sandra@inclusioninaction.org. The She Shed is a larger communal version of the typical shed in a garden. A place where women feel at home and pursue practical interests in company, with a high degree of autonomy. Hobbies shape women’s personalities, energise, inspire and connect them with other like-minded women. Expressing one’s creativity often ends up giving life its meaning. For women, there also seems to be a universal desire to express creativity. Women have an insatiable desire to shape order from chaos & to create things that never existed before. They want to produce magic with paints, wool & glass or create beauty with words and music.

The She Shed Association is a communal place of skill-sharing & informal learning, of individual pursuits and community projects, of purpose, achievement & social interaction. It is a place of leisure, where women come together to engage in enjoyable activities. This avoids the challenges created by the sense of loneliness that affects especially older people who have been active all their lives & find it difficult to create new relationships in a world which is changing so quickly.

Very strong association with the Barnsley Men’s Shed and Sheffield Men’s Shed, sharing the woodwork workshop facilities in Barnsley.

The Sheds have  funding from the National Lottery Covid19 fund to pilot remote livestreaming of workshops. Also to purchase Facebook Portals to give out to Shedders, so they can participate remotely. The pilot started July 2020 and is due to be completed by Dec 2020. A SHED LIVESTREAMING DIARY will be available on the http://www.barnsleymensshed.org website as well as on the http://www.sheshed.org.uk linked to the main http://www.inclusioninaction.org website.

Horndean Ladies Shed (Waterlooville, Hampshire, England) Carol Smith, Contact person, 02392597114, Awaiting email response
Moss Side Women’s Shed (Manchester) Open, suspended die to COVID19* The Boiler House, funded by ‘Ambition for Ageing’ www.boilerhouse.org,  15 members, Woodwork & furniture restoration, Open Thurs 12.30-2.30pm: info@boilerhouse.org. Shed Contact: Emily Corner emily@sowthecity.org

Brings women together to learn & share new practical skills, empower & build confidence. Sessions focus mainly on woodwork & furniture restoration, but participants are free to bring their own interests & ideas to the group. Open to all – based in diverse Moss Side area. As only women attending, this encourages participation of women from many cultural and BAME ‘[Black, Asian & Monority Ethnic] backgrounds.

A Men’s Shed began on the site first: calls for a women’s equivalent encouraged  women to open a  Women’s Shed. ‘Our Women’s and Men’s Sheds are run by an experienced trainer, teaching practical skills, tool use and tool safety. We are able to support the continuation of the group through various grant funding.’

Colwyn Bay She-Shed (Conwy, Wales) 9 Jan 2018* At the same location as the local Men’s Shed; use the Men’s Shed rooms and lathes etc on a Monday evening, Thursday morning 2-3 Men’s Shed members teach how to use the equipment and make items safely. Thursday evenings are a new venture of joint usage; about 15 regular members, varying because of holidays, illness & work commitments; July 2020 in shutdown, but keeping in contact via technology. Ann Williams, Chairperson: anddandjohnwill@yahoo.co.uk
MissPlaces – Women’s Shed (Wigan, England) * ‘Supporting women across Wigan Borough to be entrepreneurial and develop new skills’ Amanda Robinson, Director,  amandarobinson67@live.co.uk 07738114389 Awaiting email response
Frome Women’s Shed (Somerset, England) Public meeting Aril 2018, open 2020* FACEBOOK,  ‘Offshoot of the Frome Men’s Shed’. Monday from 1pm. women@fromeshed.org.uk, Awaiting email response, 07500061624, A place for women to meet, make things, share skills and make friends.’
Rhyl Women’s Shed (Rhyl, Wales)

 

 

 

NOTE: Several UK Men’s Sheds ‘run a women’s session’. Awaiting email responses from 2 & 4.

*

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Jan 2019

2.  ?

3.  2018

4. ?

Simon Poole reported in July 2020 that it is ‘an offshoot from Rhyl Men’s Shed, who early in 2020 took on the lease of a derelict pub in the middle of the town not a functioning pub) and converted it into a community Hub, hosting the Men’s Shed two days a week, the Women’s Shed one day and a youth group (much needed) two evenings.’

 

 

  1. The Sheds (Paisley, Scotland)*  Janice MacNamara, Janice_MacNamara@shelter.org.uk reported in July 2020 that ‘the Women’s Shed is run out of Foxbar Youth Centre, Findhorn Avenue Paisley. The Men’s Shed had been running since Oct 2015, the Women’s Shed started as result of how well the Men’s Shed was doing & an identified need in the community. On 6 Feb 2020 the men’s & women’s sheds became “The Sheds”, still meeting on separate days, Mondays for men and Thursday for women although they will be involved together at times, e.g. for community events, skill sharing and learning, running of children’s summer camp and yearly Christmas parties. They have a constitution, a bank account and formed their own board of trustees and committee. As of February 2021 they will be applying for funding under The Sheds and will be self sufficient. During Covid19 The Sheds stopped meeting but have a weekly zoom meeting; also formed a Facebook page (The Sheds Foxbar) holding interesting conversations, sharing knowledge, learn and supporting each other. All men and women from Renfrewshire over 16 years can attend The Sheds, it is free to attend, tea, coffee &  lunch provided along with a welcoming smile. Men Shed Monday 11-3.30;  Women Shed Thursday 11- 3.’ Walking group, every first Saturday of the month. Allotment members can attend anytime’.
  2. Aspire Ryde *  (Isle of Wight, England) Woodwork, Women only Fri 1-4, info@aspireryde.org.uk
  3. Gerald’s Room Diss Shed (Duiss, Soth Norfolk)*: Adrian Roy reported in July 2020 that the Diss Shed ‘had a group of women who were very keen to upcycle furniture and work on mainly wood related projects. They asked to use our facilities. The group ran for around two years on a Thursday morning. They enjoyed upcycling the furniture running alongside our sister project – a furniture bank, and worked on projects such as wooden toys, jigsaw puzzles, Christmas tree decorations etc. The main leader of the group had to step down due to ill health and the group stopped meeting around two years ago’.
  4. Women’s Shed / Group in Swansea, South Wales.

Table 4: New Zealand (1)

Name of Shed (Location) Established Publicly available information
Women’s Shed Rotorua 2017 Now Part of Linton Park Community Centre. Originally established at the Men’s Shed (ToolShed Rotorua): Awaiting email response

 

Danish and Icelandic Men’s Shed update August 2018

Mænds Mødesteder (‘Men’s Sheds’) in Denmark

 Background

Men’s Health is formally acknowledged as an issue in Denmark in the first official report on Men’s Health In Denmark, titled ‘Men’s health: The health status of men in Denmark and a review of effective interventions for promoting men’s health.

Mænds Mødesteder (in Danish, effectively ‘Men’s Meeting Place’) is an initiative of the Forum for Maends Sundhed (Men’s Health Society), Denmark. The Society is a multidisciplinary organisation dedicated to the field of men’s health in all its aspects. The Society is a member of ‘European Men’s Health Forum’ (EMHF) and ‘Global Action of Men’s Health’ (GAMH).

When The Men’s Shed Movement book was published in 2015, only one ‘Men’s Shed ‘(Mænds Mødesteder, Stevns, opened April 2015) was listed. Mænds Mødesteder are still growing in Denmark. To date (August 2018) there are approximately 30 open or soon to open and most have their own website. Each ‘Shed’ that wants to have a site can post activities and write about their shed or add pictures. The site is www.mmdanmark.dk. On this website you also can see the guidelines for any municipality or other interested organisation that wants to open up a Mænds Mødesteder https://www.mmdanmark.dk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/M%C3%A6nds-M%C3%B8desteder-drejebog-nettet.pdf

Sincere thanks to Mie Møller Nielsen Head of Office (Head Office, 74, 3.sal
1620 København, see 
www.sundmand.dk) based in Copenhagen, Denmark for the updated information below.

Mænds Mødesteder in Denmark
 to August 2018

At the moment there are approximately 30 Mænds Mødesteder open or soon to open Below is a list by year of where and when a Mænds Mødesteder has opened in Denmark (or is soon to open, to August 2018) since the program started in 2015.

2015: 7 opened, one has since closed

2015 Feb.          Mænds Mødesteder – Sjakket Bornholm

2015 April         Mænds Mødesteder – Billund
2015 April        Mænds Mødesteder – Stevns

2015 April         Mænds Mødesteder – (Trige, Frydenlund og Herredsvang, Vandtårnsområdet i Aarhus)

2016: 11 opened, 2 have since closed

2016 Feb.         Mænds Mødesteder – Skaldborg Mandeklub Aalborg

2016 March     Mænds Mødesteder – Odsherred

2016 April        Mænds Mødesteder – Bryrup

2016 June        Mænds Mødesteder – Horsens(closed)

2016 June        Mænds Mødesteder – Glostrup

2016 Aug         Mænds Mødesteder – Høje-Taastrup(closed)

2016 Sept         Mænds Mødesteder – Brøndby

2016 Sept         Mænds Mødesteder – Kjellerup

2016 Oct          Mænds Mødesteder – Sønderborg

2016 Nov        Mænds Mødesteder – Greve

2016 Nov         Mænds Mødesteder – Ringsted

2017: 7 opened

2017 Jan          Mænds Mødesteder – Esbjerg

2017 Feb          Mænds Mødesteder – Tårnby

2017 Feb          Mænds Mødesteder – Frederiksberg

2017 May         Mænds Mødesteder – Egedal

2017 Sept        Mænds Mødesteder – Korsør

2017 Sept        Mænds Mødesteder – De Fynske Alper (Faarborg-Midtfyn)

2017 Nov         Mænds Mødesteder – Silkeborg

2018: 4 opened to August (3 in development*)

2018 Feb          Mænds Mødesteder – København N.

2018 March     Mænds Mødesteder – Rebild

2018 April        Mænds Mødesteder – Pusterummet (Holstebro)

2018 May         Mænds Mødesteder – Farvskov

*2018                  Nørresundby (Aalborg)

*2018                  Randers

*2018                  Haslev (Faxe)

We don’t know exactly how many men (in total) are using the Mænds Mødesteder, but we expect it to be around 700 men. There now is a Mænds Mødesteder in every region in Denmark, and 22 out of 98 municipalities has a Mænds Mødesteder in Denmark, with some municipalities already having more than one.

Karlar í skúrum ‘Men’s Sheds’ in Iceland

Men’s Sheds in Iceland is a project of the Icelandic Red Cross. Karlar í skúrum is a direct translation into Icelandic from ‘Men´s Sheds’ or ‘Men in Sheds’. They have started one Shed which now has 30 members and a waiting list has started to form. All the information about Men´s Sheds in Iceland accessible on line is in Icelandic. Therefore this brief English update.

There was a formal opening gathering on 1 June 2018 and Barry Sheridan, CEO from the Irish Men’s Sheds Assocation came across from Dublin and attended the opening. There was some coverage on national television and Barry was interviewed: see http://www.visir.is/k/vtv44af3779-4bb5-40a6-9587-86985a78f22e Also, there was article about the opening in a national paper: scroll down to the article on page 24 of the following link: http://www.visir.is/paper/fbl/180606.pdf

Sincere thanks to Hörður Sturluson, Project Manager, Icelandic Red Cross [ email hordur@redcross.is]. Hordur would welcome any feedback globally ‘… about the best way to make Sheds be sustainable by themself. We are planning to start some more Sheds and there is interest around the country. Does anyonehave any documents about that?

Men’s Shed Movement Book availability 2019

The Men’s Shed Movement: The Company of Men book, Edited by Barry Golding, was published in 2015 by Common Ground Publishing in Champaign, Illinois.

The book is available for order in 2019 paperback for US$25  (postage is extra) or US$15 as a pdf copy (with colour photos) via the following link: https://cgscholar.com/bookstore/works/the-mens-shed-movement?category_id=common-ground-publishing. The book is also available for order on line via Amazon, as well as in Australia through the Angus and Robertson on line store.

The Men’s Shed Movement book was nominated for the Australian Journal on Ageing Book Award for 2017. One of the reviewers said ‘The book will be a valuable resource for those looking into the contribution of Men’s Sheds to society in the future’