About men’s sheds

A men’s shed is a community-based, non-commercial organisation that is open to men. Men’s sheds provide a place where men can feel included and safe. The aim of men’s sheds is to improve the health and wellbeing of their members.

What is a men’s shed?

Men’s sheds provide a safe, friendly and inclusive environment where men can meet and work on meaningful projects:

  • at their own pace
  • in their own time
  • in the company of other men

There is a network of over 1000 men’s sheds across Australia.

Why are men’s sheds important?

Men’s sheds aim to improve the health and wellbeing of Australian men. They address social isolation and boost men’s mental health in terms of:

  • feeling safe
  • making friends
  • sharing meaningful activities

They also provide vital health information and resources that men may not usually access, or may be reluctant to access. A study in 2013 found that men’s shed members had significantly better scores than non-shed members for:

  • physical functioning
  • general health
  • vitality
  • mental health

Who are men’s sheds for?

Men’s sheds are for all men from a local community who wish to join. They may particularly help men:

  • from disadvantaged areas or groups
  • who wish to learn a new skill
  • who want to spend some time in male company

What activities do men’s sheds undertake?

Men’s sheds may do a variety of activities from manual crafts to gardening to beekeeping. Some may undertake community projects such as making toys for local childcare groups. Men’s sheds may provide an opportunity to learn new skills such as first aid. They may hold health and wellbeing events and provide contacts for men to follow up on their health needs. Men’s sheds can also provide company or an opportunity to make friends.

What do men’s sheds cost members?

Men’s sheds may charge a small fee to cover insurance requirements. Ask your local men’s shed.

Who provides men’s sheds?

Men’s sheds are independent, community-based organisations. Local councils or other community-based organisations may provide a meeting place for men’s sheds. The Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) can provide further information. We do not fund the building of a men’s shed.

How do I find a men’s shed?

Contact AMSA or use their find-a-shed tool.

How does funding for men’s sheds work?

We provide funding of $1 million per year for the National Shed Development Programme (NSDP), a competitive grants program run twice a year. Men’s sheds can apply for grants of up to $10,000 to help with:

  • health and wellbeing activities and events
  • shed improvements
  • tools and equipment

AMSA administers the NSDP on our behalf.

We also fund AMSA to provide information and guidance to men’s sheds across Australia and to promote their benefits for men’s health and wellbeing.

We provide further support to men’s sheds through the:

Who oversees men’s sheds?

The Australian Men’s Shed Association oversees the NSDP on our behalf.

We oversee the funding of men’s sheds, including the defibrillator initiative and the regional coordinators initiative.

Contacts

Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA)

The Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) is the peak body supporting almost 1000 men’s sheds across Australia. Contact them for information on men's shed operations.

amsa [at] mensshed.net
Postal addresses: 
66 King St
Newcastle NSW 2300

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Men's sheds contact

Contact us for information about how we support men's sheds activities across Australia.

MensSheds [at] health.gov.au

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Last updated: 
14 January 2020

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