We all remember grandad in his greenhouse or pottering away in his shed.
It would be time for him to break away from the rest of the world for a touch of “me-time”. While you may think it’s unfair that mum was relegated to the kitchen, the obvious thing was that dad, like most men, craved an opportunity to make, fix and craft.
These days men talk about man caves, rooms in the house full of treasures – CDs, games consoles and maybe a ping pong table.
Whatever it is, people like to have somewhere to unplug from the pressure of the usual surroundings, and maybe to make time for creativity.
It’s as if home is a constant reminder of jobs that need doing around the house, lights that need fixing or children that need dropping off somewhere.
Change the location? You can change the mindset and get into a new, more innovative zone.
Now in grandad’s shed, it was probably only grandad who was in there, perhaps with a handheld radio for company.
But Men’s Sheds is a charity that has been set up make sheds more social while being more productive than going down to the pub.
Men (and sometimes women) are encouraged to get their hands dirty, making, fixing and creating.
These spaces can feed into other community causes, for example, if something in the locality needs a bit of TLC, the “shedders” can get involved and turn it around.
The physical aspect of creating is a great way to encourage mental and physical fitness, but it’s the social side that really promotes wellbeing.
Social isolation is an important factor that feeds into low mood and depression for many of us, but especially for those with dementia.
With Men’s Shed schemes, people can feel more connected emotionally and creatively with other like-minded people.
Me2U is looking into setting up a Men’s Shed specifically for people with dementia and their carers so they can work on projects and interact. We hope to include a diverse range of activities such as woodwork, gardening, painting and craft. But if people just want to chill and listen to the radio or read the paper with a hot cup of tea, the Men’s Shed will provide the ideal spot for that too.