Men’s Sheds – a place to forge friendships

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The transition into retirement can be a difficult one. Without an existing social group outside of work, people can find themselves lonely or bored and even experience a loss of identity once they finish their careers. This retirement transition can be made more successful by being part of a community and feeling productive or finding a sense of purpose.

People who are socially connected live longer and experience better mental and physical health (1).

Joining a social group such as a Men’s Shed can help men transition from a work-based identity of ‘I am a farmer’, or ‘I am an accountant’ to the social identity of ‘I am a Shedder’.

Western Australia has more than 180 sheds across the State with approximately 7,000 Shed members. Each shed offers a variety of activities for its members; it’s not all woodwork and metalwork. Some Sheds have created gardening groups, photography and art classes, some even provide IT support to their members.

The diversity of activities reflects the diverse range of Shed Members. And it’s not all social hobbies either. Many sheds across WA will help their members in more tangible ways, sometimes by helping them get around when they can’t drive anymore.

In 2021 the Gidgegannup Men’s Shed was created to help the local community recover from the Woorooloo-Gidgegannup bushfires which destroyed 86 homes and damaged more than 300 properties. The shed helped to provide a social connection for the men affected by the fires, and together they were able to help the community recover too.

Sheds provide a safe, inclusive environment for Men to get stuck into their hobbies, share a few laughs with some mates and give back to their community in a way that is meaningful for them.

To find a shed near you visit: today.

Mens Sheds WA show of work

(Image: supplied in folder by Men’s Sheds).


  1. Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review, J. Holt-Lunstad ,T B. Smith , J. Bradley Layton, July 2010.