Men’s Sheds

 2021 Men’s Shed Book

Golding, B. (Ed.) Shoulder to Shoulder: Broadening the Men’s Shed Movement. Common Ground Research Networks, Champaign, US

Available for purchase and postage within Australia via Barry Golding: $AU65 hard cover copy, $AU55 soft cover copy. Add $AU10 for postage: email 

  • Chapter 1 : Setting the scene (Barry Golding) 
  • Chapter 2: Men’s Sheds in Australia (Barry Golding) 
  • Chapter 3: Men’s Sheds in the UK (Barry Golding) 
  • Chapter 4: Men’s Sheds in Ireland (Barry Golding) 
  • Chapter 5: Men’s Sheds in New Zealand / Aotearoa (Barry Golding) 
  • Chapter 6: Men’s Sheds in the US (Barry Golding & Phil Johnson) 
  • Chapter 7: Men’s Sheds in Canada (Barry Golding & Corey Mackenzie) 
  • Chapter 8: Men’s Sheds (Maends Modesteder) in Denmark (Joel Hedegaard, Barry Golding & Mie Møller Nielsen)
  • Chapter 9: Men’s Sheds Elsewhere  (Barry Golding)
  • Chapter 10: Women’s Sheds Worldwide (Barry Golding & Lucia Carragher)
  • Chapter 11: Men’s Shed Research Evidence since 2014 (Annette Foley & Barry Golding) 
  • Chapter 12: Broadening the Men’s Shed Movement (Barry Golding) 

Previously published 2015 Book: The Men ‘s Shed Movement: The Company of Men ( Barry Golding, Ed.) 2015, Common Ground Publishing, Champaign, US. The 433 page book  is still available for sale in 2021 in hard copy for US $50 on line (US$20 as pdf) via the Common Ground website via:

Barry Golding’s research interest in men’s learning and wellbeing and its link to Men’s Sheds in community settings originally came out of a series of research projects undertaken in Victoria, Australia from 2002 for the Adult, Community and Further Education (ACFE) Board.

Our Men’s Sheds in Australia: Learning through community contexts (2007) report was an NCVER (National Centre for Vocational Education Research) funded national study of informal learning through community-based Men’s Sheds in Australia. That research with coauthors Mike Brown , Annette Foley, Jack Harvey & Lynn Gleeson included surveys and interviews in 25 Men’s Sheds across five Australian States.

The wider suite of research on equity in community-based contexts since the late 1990s helped inform and encourage ongoing Australian & international research into men’s learning and wellbeing in community contexts. This research was published in 2013 in an edited book, Men learning through life, with Rob Mark & Annette Foley published through NIACE in the UK.

After 2013, Barry Golding set out to document the history, development, diversity and evidence base about community Men’s Sheds internationally, culminating in the October 2015 launch of the book, The Men’s Shed Movement: The Company of Men. It focused in the development of Men’s Shed movements in Australia, Ireland, the UK and New Zealand.

In 2021 a new book was published called Shoulder to Shoulder: Broadening the Men’s Shed Movement edited by Barry Golding. It documents the continued spread in previous countries (particularly across Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales), and development of the now international movement to 2021 to several other countries particularly the US, Canada and Denmark, but also Iceland and Kenya. It includes a separate Chapter on the rapid growth in the past decade of Women’s Sheds, some developed in collaboration with Men’s Sheds. It also analyses the new research evidence about impact between 2015 and 2021, and makes an evidence-based case for further broadening the movement. Four of the 12 chapters in the forthcoming book are coauthored with colleagues from the US, Sweden and Denmark (in relation to the Danish chapter), Ireland (in relation to the Women’s Shed chapter) and Australia (in relation  to the research evidence chapter.


There are links and research summaries  in the 2015 & 2021 books of all research about Men’s Sheds internationally published to June 2021. I intend to regularly update with subsequent research in 2022-23. What follows is a list of all  Research about Men’s Sheds in 2021 and 2022 (up to 1 May). If you find any gaps or mistakes, please let Barry Golding know:


Reference Detail

Focus: other detail


Format * Peer reviewed

Kelly, D., Steiner, A., Mason, H., & Teasdale, S.

Men’s sheds as an alternative healthcare route? A qualitative study of the impact of Men’s sheds on user’s health improvement behaviours, BMC Public Health 21, Article 553.




Mænds Mødesteder

‘Bagom Mænds Mødesteder i Naturen‘,, Viewed 11 March 2021.


R: in Danish



Kelly, D., Steiner, A., Mason, H., & Teasdale, S.

Men’s sheds as an alternative healthcare route? A qualitative study of the impact of men’s sheds on user’s health improvement behaviours, BMC Public Health 21, 553. 

H: Interviews with 62 Shed members from 5 Sheds, Scotland, 9pp.



Kelly, D., Teasdale, S. Steiner, A., & Mason, H.,

Men’s Sheds in Scotland: The potential for improving the health of men, Journal of Public Health Policy 42, 258–270.

A: Scottish Sheds




Rawinski, M. M., & Golding, B.

Researching Men’s Sheds in Australia: Reflections from the Antipodes: A European female visitor and a male guide, Book Chapter 6, pp.97-108, In Reflections on adult education and learning: The adult education legacy of Sabina Jelenc Krašovec, B. Mikulek, S. Kump & T. Kosmeri (eds.),  Ljubljana University Press, Faculty of Artspp.67-80. DOI; book download:




Golding, B. & Foley, A.

The mothership: Exploring the anatomy of one new Zealand Men’s Shed, Book Chapter 4, pp.67-79. In n Reflections on adult education and learning: The adult education legacy of Sabina Jelenc Krašovec, B. Mikulek, S. Kump & T. Kosmeri (eds.),  Ljubljana University Press, Faculty of Artspp.67-80. DOI; book download: 




Golding, B., Carragher, L. & Foley, A.

The Women’s Shed movement: Scoping the field internationally, Australian Journal of Adult Learning 61(2), 150-174.





Golding, B. (Ed.)

Shoulder to shoulder: Broadening the men’s shed movement, Book (444 pages), Common Ground Research Networks, Illinois.




Foley, A., Golding, B. & Weadon, H.

Respite, renewal, retirement and tensions: Australian Men’s Sheds and the impact on significant others, Ageing & Society, First View 1-22,




Kelly, D. & Steiner, A.

The impact of Men’s Sheds on the physical health of their users, Health & Place 71,




Boucher, L. & Robinson, S.

The men’s shed movement in Australia: Rights, needs and the politics of settler national manhood, Australian Historical Studies 52(3), 383-401,




2021 TOTAL




Lowry, R. G., Wood, A. Mouatt, S., Day, M., Hogh, H., Sitch, M., & Bescoby, C.

Step by Step evaluation report, EU Interreg 2 Seas Programme (Social Innovation – 2014- 2020), European Regional Development Fund.




McGrath, A., Murphy, N., Egan, T. & Osmond, G.,

Understanding shedders: Which sociodemographic, health and wellbeing characteristics best inform appropriate health promotion action and a ‘Shed for Life’? https://doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0128.v1





Foettinger, L. Albrecht, B. M., Altgelg, T. & Gansfort, D.

The role of community based men’s sheds in health promotion: A mixed methods systematic review, American Journal of Men’s Health, March-April, 1-18.




McGrath, A., Murphy, N., Egan, T. & Richardson, N.

An economic evaluation of ‘Sheds for Life’: A community-based men’s health initiative for Men’s Sheds in Ireland, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19(4) 2204,







Barry Golding and other researchers working in this field acknowledge the generous cooperation of volunteers as informants in our research, as well as the pioneering research work in this field by many other individuals and organizations.

Much of Barry’s research in the past two decades has focused on men’s learning, health and wellbeing,  through Men’s Sheds in community settings.

Anyone interested in this field as community practitioners or researchers should be aware that there are active peak body Men’s Sheds Associations in Australia (and all Australian states),  Ireland, the UK, Scotland, Wales, Canada, New Zealand and the US. The AMSA site lists all  community men’s sheds registered with AMSA in Australia and other useful community shed-related information, including forthcoming events and conferences, back copies of AMSA newsletters and links to shed-based peak organisations elsewhere in the world.  David Helmers is the 2022 AMSA Executive Officer.

Australian community shed-based organisations can check, update and supply their organisation details on the free, community-based shed web site AMSA membership is open to all community Men Sheds. Based on experiences of many shed start-ups, an AMSA-supported manual is available on How to start up a men’s shed in your area, see

The first major national research report Men’s sheds in Australia: learning through community contexts, (2007, NCVER) and the ‘Supporting documents’ are available free for download While the emphasis in this early community shed-based research was on the informal learning function of sheds, it provided a carefully researched snapshot (to 2007) of the range of men who participate, for what sorts of reasons and what they are getting out of it. The demonstrable outcomes include health, happiness and wellbeing as well as informal learning.

This early research report has been useful to shed-based organizations, governments and auspice organizations that plan, mentor, and support men’s sheds in community contexts. Barry Golding’s aim  in the past decade to 2021 has been to progressively extend some of the research and findings to other organisations, communities and nations where learning, health and wellbeing are recognised as a problem for some men, particularly for men not in paid work and men isolated for any reason,and where the wellbeing value of informal, community-based lifelong and lifewide learning is sometimes not recognised or valued. 


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