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Men's Shed Fermanagh and Erne Pharmacy

Improving lives and connections

Men’s Shed Fermanagh is open to men aged 50+ with local members enjoying a range of activities including joinery, gardening, basket weaving and keep fit. Focusing on learning new skills, making new friends and having a bit of craic, the shed is the place to be if you live in the Devenish, Erne and Irvinestown area.

The group decided to apply for a BCPP Level 2 project along with Joe McAleer, Erne Pharmacy. With limited resources for men in this rural area, loneliness and isolation are prevalent and this project aimed to improve health and wellbeing by providing men with the knowledge to improve their lives and develop connections within communities. Research shows that older men are less likely to use health services and delay or avoid seeking medical advice, so it was felt that offering services in a community facility would be the way forward with this particular group.

The group looked at medicine use, nutrition, health checks, smoking cessation and also ran a physical activity programme. Action on Hearing Loss delivered hearing checks to the men while Addiction NI gave a talk on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and drinking responsibly. Other organisations such as NI Chest Heart and Stroke and Cancer Connect came in to present to the group and shared valuable information and the men even gained some training on digital skills. As part of this project, the men took part in a life transition class and engaged in mindfulness which was something very different for most of them.

“The BCPP programme allowed our ‘shedders’ to develop their relationship with the pharmacist and helped the men chat about their health and wellbeing breaking down the stigma that men shouldn’t talk about how they feel. By doing it in the shed, I have found the men are more relaxed and willing to share and engage more.”

Eoin McAnuff, Men’s Shed