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Bench by Le Cheile Mallow Men’s Shed (Cork)

Le Cheile Mallow Men’s Shed in Cork made a bench together to honour the memory of Founding Chairman Tim Heeran and celebrate the Men’s Sheds ethos of connection.

As with all Men’s Sheds, Le Cheile Mallow Men’s Shed is community-based social group where members from all walks of life come together to learn and share skills and trades, have a bit of craic agus ceol, while sharing life experiences in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. In short, they’re a club where old friends regularly hook-up and new friends are made. It also engages in numerous activities such as gardening, woodwork, carpentry, and community work. However, as members are keen to point out, the Shed is more than work-work:  

The greatest toll we have is the kettle because there’s nothing more important than a cup of tea and a chat.”  

And where better to have a chat and cuppa than on a bench made collaboratively using skills honed at the Shed? Not only would this serve to honour Founding Chairman Tim Heeran’s memory, so too would the physical act of making something together for all to enjoy. As one member told us: 

“When you come to the Shed, I find you always feel good after it. Like working on the bench, you were improving your skills, but you were also doing it for somebody that meant something to you. And you did it with a certain amount of love or a little bit of intent to get it right. Like working together, when you’re doing something together, you can get a kind of an empathy with the person you’re working with. And you can talk to them about things as well. If there’s something on your mind that you’re kind of pent-up about, it helps an awful lot. A lot of us have people close to us that we have lost and we understand what it means. The more people who are in the conversation the more solace you’ll get out of it.” 

The majority of Mallow Men’s Shed members are aged between 50 and 75. They’re always open to receiving new members regardless of age, background or abilities. Learn more: The Irish Men’s Sheds Association.