Members of Action Mental Health’s Men’s Sheds get crafty as they Connect after Covid
Action Mental Health’s three Men’s Sheds are to benefit from a significant grant, supported by The National Lottery through Arts Council of Northern Ireland, to help the men of the charity in ‘Connecting After Covid’.
Thirty men from the Action Mental Health’s Men’s Sheds – based at AMH New Horizons Antrim, Downpatrick and Fermanagh – will come together to engage in arts programmes, supported by the Arts Council’s Arts and Older People Programme.
The three AMH Men’s Sheds will share £7,737 from the programme which aims to tackle loneliness as well as promoting positive mental health and well-being.
Lorraine Calderwood, Community Arts Development Officer at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, explained how the Arts and Older People’s Programme is making a difference to the lives of older people across the region:
“The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted to support Action Mental Health’s Men’s Shed project. Research has proven that taking part in arts activities can raise self-esteem, confidence and motivation, as well assist in relieving stress. The Arts and Older People Programme is committed to providing meaningful opportunities for our older people to take part in arts activities, enriching their lives for the better. As we emerge from the additional challenges faced by older people as a result of the pandemic, participating in the arts is now more important than ever.
The arts have a vital role to play in helping older people find their voice thus promoting positive physical and mental health. Thanks to The National Lottery, Public Health Agency and Baring Foundation, the Arts Council is hugely proud to have supported 200 plus projects benefitting older people since the programme began.”
David Babington, Chief Executive of Action Mental Health, was delighted to receive the grant.
“AMH Men’s Sheds are popular venues for support, socialising, learning and leisure. The Sheds provide a space for men to come together, learn new skills and share old skills working together shoulder to shoulder on various projects helping them engage in their community.
“During the pandemic, members from AMH’s three Men’s Sheds around Northern Ireland have had to adjust. This funding gives the shedders the opportunity to come together, learn new skills and build up friendships in Antrim, Downpatrick and Enniskillen sheds. “
Harry Glass, of AMH Men’s Shed, Downpatrick, added: “As lockdown restrictions eased I was nervous about coming back to the shed. This project will give me something to look forward to, learning new skills and re-engaging with all the members again.”