b'Mensshedsaresharedco\x02unity spaceswheremencanexchangeski\x03s, makefriendsandcontributetotheir co\x02unities. They a\x03ow men to explore di\x05erenta\x06roachestomasculinity, basedonsharedexperience,frankne\x04 and ope\x07e\x04 to new ideas. Since2011,theIrishMensShedsAssociation(IMSA)hasgrownfroma cellphonenumbertoanumbrellaorganizationoverseeingalmost500 community organizations throughout the island of Ireland.ThesupportofTheIrelandFundshasallowedtheIrishMensSheds movement to grow to almost 500 sheds engaging over 12,000 men on a weekly basis. The Irish Men\'s Sheds Association was a recipient of the Small Grants Round long before we became an Ireland Funds\' Flagship Awardee in 2017, receiving 100,000 over 2 years. The Flagship Award has also facilitated the development of a unique Shed Support Volunteer program, whereby a single individual volunteer in each of Irelands thirty-two counties is trained to offer logistical support and information to all the sheds in his county."Withoutthedirectsupport,guidanceandencouragementofThe Ireland Funds, under its Flagship Awards and a range of other supports, it is inconceivablethatmensshedswouldhavedevelopedintothenational phenomenon they have become," says CEO Barry Sheridan. "The endorsement of The Ireland Fundshas been a signal to other donors and agencies that the Irish Mens Sheds Association is a professional and reputable charity with a genuine commitment to improving society."The impact of the mens shed on an individual attendee can be at once sub-tle and dramatic. The enduring and growing appeal of the mens shed model lies in its simplicity; however, that simplicity belies a depth of impact that can be truly transformative.The granddaughter of a mens sheds member in Co. Mayo, on Irelands Atlantic coast, described the transformation in her grandfathers life: For five years, we couldnt get granddad out of the house. He didnt really have an interest in anything anymore. He was very, very reluctant to join the shed, but I drove him over and said Id come and pick him up whenever he wanted if he didnt like it. Well, to cut a long story short, we hardly see him at all now under dinnertime! Hes so completely at home in the shed and everyone in town knows his name from the community projects hes involved in.Mens sheds have been proven to benefit the health and wellbeing of their members, with over 90% of members reporting improved wellbeing. To consol-idate this impact, the IMSA has introduced its Sheds for Life initiative, a health and wellbeing programme backed by Irelands Health Services Executive. The IMSA is also advising nascent mens sheds movements in Iceland, Central Asia, the United States, Denmark, Kenya and a number of other countries and regions and was recently invited to address the World Health Organization on the benefits of mens sheds. Without the support of The Ireland Funds, this level of reach and impact would have been beyond the IMSA. connect 201923'