A project to give some of Derry’s most isolated men a new lease of life was launched in the Long Tower Community Centre yesterday.
Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum launched ‘Derry Men’s Shed’ project yesterday and used it as an opportunity to showcase a lot of the work that had been carried out throughout the North since the beginning of the year.
‘Derry Men’s Shed’ is a local project aimed at supporting isolated and vulnerable men in Derry.
Guests at the launch included Mark Roberts, Co-Chair, Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum; Mayor of Derry, Councillor Brenda Stevenson; Martina Anderson, MEP; Maeve McLaughlin, MLA and Chair of Assembly Health Committee; Joe Mahon, Lesser Spotted Ulster; Brendan Bonner, PHA; John Evoy, Irish Men’s Shed Association and local politicians, community representatives and beneficiaries.
Men from throughout the North, representing 25 Men’s Sheds, attended the launch and showcased their work. Guests were also treated to musical performances from Armagh Men’s Shed, while local input was provided by Gerry Doherty, a member of Derry Men’s Shed, who played ‘The Town I Loved So Well’ and ‘Danny Boy’.
Speaking at the event the Mayor, Councillor Brenda Stevenson, said she was happy to have been at the official launch of the project.
“I am delighted to be here today for the launch of the Derry Shed. This is an exciting project which will provide for the needs of men from throughout Derry. The exhibits on show from other Sheds demonstrate the valuable skills that these men have. Social exclusion among men and the issues arising from loneliness and ill-health have been well documented and I am supportive of any initiative that combats these issues,” she said.
Speaking at the launch, Project Manager, Tommy Carlin of the Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum said he was interested in hearing from anyone interested in joining the group.
“This project will be open to men living in Derry, who are facing issues such as loneliness, ill health or depression as well as those who just want to get out a wee bit more. Derry Men’s Shed is based in the Gasyard Centre, and in case people don’t know it’s not actually a shed but a space where men can come together to talk, socialise, learn new skills, do some craft work, and of course drink as much tea and coffee as they like.”
For further information please contact Project Manager Tommy Carlin on 0287 71 365330