Men’s Sheds: The Movement in Scotland & the Big Picture internationally

University of Glasgow, School of Education
5th Floor Common Room
11 Eldon St.
Glasgow G3 6NH
United Kingdom
Thursday, 13 October, 2016 - 13:00 to 16:30

Seminar Series: 

Sometimes the planets are in alignment. Thursday 13 Oct is one such occasion, when three international visitors with diverse and deep insights into the now international Men’s Shed Movement are in Glasgow. They have teamed up in an event hosted by University of Glasgow with the Scottish Men’s Shed Association, the Glasgow Area Men’s Sheds, the Australian Men’s Shed Association and the International Men’s Shed Organisation* to present a Forum to update and explore where and how the Movement has suddenly ‘taken off’ across the UK and Ireland, most recently into Scotland and around Glasgow.

If you are interested in any aspect of this remarkable and transformative grassroots international Movement: as a participant, policy maker, organization or government representative, student, member of the public or researcher, this free Forum is for you. The latter part of the session will provide an opportunity to discuss how the Scottish movement might be expanded to benefit men, families and communities and also provide the essential data government and community organisations find useful to help them ‘get on board’ an already fast moving ‘train’.

Venue: University of Glasgow, School of Education,5th Floor Common Room, 11 Eldon St., Glasgow G3 6NH 1.00-4.30pm, Thursday 13 Oct 2016

Please RSVP to [email protected] to book your place



Registration with Tea/Coffee


Welcome & Program outline (Professor Mike Osborne, Director of CR&DALL, University of Glasgow)


Where are Men’s Sheds at across Scotland, and in the Glasgow area in particular? (Willie Whitelaw, Secretary, Scottish Men’s Shed Association: SMSA)


Where did the Movement originate?; Why does the Men’s Shed model work? (Professor Barry Golding, Federation University, Australia & AMSA Patron)


Where are Men’s Sheds at in Australia? (David Helmers, CEO Australian Men’s Shed’s Association: AMSA)


Where are Men’s Sheds at Internationally (including in the rest of the UK, Ireland & beyond) (John Evoy, Project Director, International Men’s Shed Organisation: IMSO)


Afternoon tea break


Men’s Shed Panel Discussion: How can the Scottish Movement be strengthened?


Widely representative Panel: How and what sort of research evidence of impact might be timely and useful across the UK & Ireland?


Final Drawing together (Dr Margaret Sutherland, Deputy Director of CR&DALL)




Professor Barry Golding is an Adjunct Professor of Education in the Faculty of Education and Arts, Federation University Australia, Ballarat. Barry has extensive research experience in vocational and adult learning. His research has focused mainly on equity and access to learning in less formal, community contexts, with a recent emphasis on learning through participation in community organisations. He has completed many national and international studies of men’s learning and wellbeing through community participation including through Men’s Sheds internationally. His 2016 field research includes studies of alternative schools in regional ACE settings and vocational education for young people in rural towns. Barry is an honorary Patron of the Australian Men’s Sheds Association and former President of Adult Learning Australia.

John Evoy is the founder of the Irish Men's Sheds Association. Earlier this year John began the process of developing an International Men’s Sheds Organisations with the aim of supporting the Men’s Sheds movement to engage with 1 million men globally by 2022. With extensive experience in social entrepreneurship and community development, and a strong reputation for being a leader in the field internationally, he won an Irish People of the Year Award in 2015. John is currently a board member of The Wheel, the representative body for charities in Ireland, and he is the European representative for the Australian Men’s Sheds Association

Willie Whitelaw is a founder member and Secretary of the Scottish Men’s Sheds Association (SMSA). His interest in Men’s Sheds was ignited in late 2013 when a change of work, from community work to working with timber, prompted a search to find local people who could offer advice on woodworking. This search revealed the amazing world of Men’s Sheds, which seemed a perfect mix of making by hand and community development. With the help of the UKMSA web site & shed map, Willie met with some like-minded local people who created a small networking group; Glasgow Area Men’s Sheds (GAMS). Willie has a keen interest in huts, sheds, land use, woodlands & communities.


Glasgow Area Men’s Sheds (GAMS)

The group grew from meetings, in late 2013, of people interested in the “new” idea of Men’s Sheds. It was set up as an informal information & support network of people keen to see a Men’s Shed in their home area. The members were introduced to each other via Mike Jenn, UKMSA Chair after filling out a form on the UKMSA web site. The group was supported by Strathclyde University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning, which offered space for meetings & links with other supportive & interested people. A catalyst for the formation of the group was a UKMSA organised seminar in February 2014 at Strathclyde University featuring AMSA Patron Professor Barry Golding.

Scottish Men’s Sheds Association (SMSA)

The SMSA mission is to inspire & support Scottish shedders. Its approach is to encourage & support local people to start & run their own, unique shed which fits their own needs & aspirations. SMSA aims to support “bottom-up” rather than “topdown” activity since this produces stronger communities. SMSA grew from conversations with Men’s Shed groups around Scotland, which revealed that there was a need & desire for a Scottish based, national support network. Following an initiative by Jason Schroeder (founder Chair) the SMSA was formally created in autumn of 2014 as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO).


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