Men’s Shed comes to Medicine Hat

Photo by Submitted by Author

This year a Men’s Shed was opened at Unison’s Veiner Centre in Medicine Hat. Men’s Sheds are non-profit groups supporting senior men. 

They are an Australian 1995 movement that is now an international phenomenon, enhancing — even saving — the lives of men and building better communities.

They provide a friendly place where men (usually over 50) and retirees get together to tinker, tell stories and have a good time. All this is to ward off loneliness and depression brought on by sitting on the couch with nothing to do. 

Seniors have a terrific amount of experience and knowledge to contribute to the Shed and share with each other. 

The term Shed refers to the meeting place. It could be a garage, a workshop, or a community facility. Men can just chat or engage in activities together.  

We can volunteer, build things for the community, fix bikes for schools, or take cooking classes, anything we like. 

The membership decides what they are going to do, perhaps get speakers in or go on a hike together.  Larger projects may require a workshop or garages.

A Men’s Shed is a dedicated, welcoming shared place where men come together — regardless of their background or ability. We share knowledge, learn new skills, develop old ones, have a bit of fun and make new friends. 

Sheds give men somewhere to go, something to do, someone to talk to.

There are many reasons to join a Men’s Shed. With over 2,500 Sheds around the world, their compassionate reputation has been well earned. The community benefits from projects that help the city. Projects like volunteering, technology workshops, bike repair and donation, making toys, benches, and tables. Men’s Sheds offer a space for sharing and acquiring new skills like woodworking and gardening, making use of our lives and having a purpose.

Other benefits include social connection, a space where men can come together to share experiences and build friendships. It is valuable for men at risk of social isolation and depression because men get the camaraderie and support that contributes to positive mental health. Our Shed provides men with a sense of purpose and fulfilment while contributing to community projects.  Men work best “shoulder to shoulder.” Some men learn, some teach, and some just watch or listen.  

Regarding retirement transition, Men’s Sheds can be instrumental in helping men navigate this life stage and lack of direction. It is a supportive and non-judgmental place where men can feel comfortable discussing their concerns or life’s challenges. Our social and emotional impact often extends to families and the broader community. A UK study showed that there was a 75 per cent reduction in anxiety and an 89 per cent reduction in depression with members attending regularly. With these benefits retirement and aging can be a lot less difficult to navigate.

Men can come in on their own, or wives and daughters may have to prompt them to get off the couch. It is rumoured that “Men shed because a woman said.”  Legend has it that the first Shed was started in Australia by the daughter of a senior man who was at her loose ends and becoming depressed. She bought several old lawnmowers and asked a bunch of older men to help fix them in her garage.  The guys got talking and the first Men’s Shed was formed. The lawnmowers never got fixed.  The first Canadian Men’s Shed was prompted by the wife of a retired man.  If your man is getting underfoot, send him down to our Shed. 

The Men’s Shed of Medicine Hat is simple to join.  Just come down to the Veiner Centre any Monday (except holidays) at 11 AM and Dave (the coordinator) will be happy to sign you up. This Shed’s membership is free, and we provide coffee. If you’re hungry after the meeting, the adjacent Bisto serves great lunches and snacks. You’ll find the Centre at 225 Woodman Ave. S.E. Medicine Hat.

For more information on Sheds or Shedders (our name for men in Sheds) you can go to the web and look up and provincially see The Australian website is also filled with great information and videos. To contact the Shed here in Medicine Hat you can email