Community support

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


A Men’s Shed is a community-based, non-commercial organisation which is open to all men where the primary activity is the provision of a safe, friendly and inclusive environment where the men are able to gather and/or work on meaningful projects at their own pace.

The primary objective is to advance the health and well- being of the participating men through skill-sharing and informal learning, of individual pursuits and community projects, of purpose, achievement and social interaction. A place of leisure where men come together to work.

North Belfast Men's Shed are currently working on a project where they are planning to construct and donate "Buddy Benches" to each primary school in North Belfast.

The aim of the project is to provide children with a facility where by sitting on the bench they can show that they are lonely or worried about something. The Buddy Bench is a visual aid that gives children who are feeling excluded, ignored, or teased a way of showing other children that they need friendship, kindness or empathy.

The Men's Shed believes that the Buddy Bench improves Social and Emotional development and enables children to find comfort and support through each other rather than feeling upset or worried. Each Buddy Bench costs £100 to construct, however the organisation donates the benches to schools free of charge.

It is also their intention to extend the Buddy Bench to care homes for the elderly.

With extra funding, the organisation would be able to purchase additional specialist machinery and tools to enable them to construct the benches. It would also mean that they could pass on their older equipment onto a new Men's Shed to enable them to start their project.

North Belfast Men's Shed

Although the Men's Shed is itself a charity and community group, the organisation in North Belfast are passionate about using their skills and resources to improve the community around them.

Location: Belfast