Covid-19 pandemic: Groundwork NI launch Men’s Shed Befriending Service


By Michael Kenwood, BBC Local News Partnership

Groundwork NI has launched a Men’s Shed Befriending Service.

Every Wednesday, any ‘shedder’ experiencing loneliness due to coronavirus isolation can schedule a call for a friendly chat.

Men’s sheds or community sheds are non-profit local organisations that provide a space for craftwork and social interaction. There are dozens spread across Northern Ireland, and are supported by Groundwork NI and the Public Health Agency.

The service will be available every Wednesday beginning April 8 – from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm.

The movement originated in Australia as a way to improve the health and wellbeing of older men. However some have expanded their remit to anyone regardless of age or gender.

Established in 1991, Groundwork Northern Ireland is a charity dedicated to helping people gain skills, training and work. It works with communities to protect and improve green spaces, lead more active lives and overcome significant challenges such as poverty, isolation, low skills and poor health.

It has distributed over £6 million in grants to community projects, provided nearly 100 spaces for community celebrations, supported 65 Men’s Sheds across NI and transformed four spaces into Meanwhile Gardens.

Email Shannon at to schedule a time to talk or to join the movement.

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