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Shedding the light on men: the Wollongong Men's Project

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Men’s sheds are community based organisations where men can enjoy each

    others company and where self-worth can be promoted. At the same time skills can be

    developed for both the individual and the community. For older men these sheds offers the

    opportunity to make new mates and to form a new retirement identity by offering many of

    the positive things that paid work offered them. They are seen as a positive approach to

    men’s health and social needs and as a result many Australian State and Territory Health

    Services have funded and/or promoted them from a health promotion perspective. The

    Wollongong Men’s Project has operated as a shed-based group program since October

    2005. The aim of the project is to provide a group of retired and/or unemployed men from

    a multicultural background with opportunities for developing practical skills with a view to

    reducing their social isolation and increasing their self-esteem and sense of purpose. The

    project provides a shed space, resources, a community cultural arts worker and a

    multicultural health worker who work with the men on a range of skilled based activities.

    Methods and materials Evaluation was carried out using a Participatory Action Research

    (PAR) process together with a range of data collection tools. Results The evaluation has

    shown that the men have an increased sense of purpose and self confidence as a direct

    result of their involvement in the project. They have also broadened their social networks

    and have increased their skill levels. Conclusion The evaluation of the Wollongong Men’s

    Project has provided some valuable lessons. All-male social support networks, without the

    usual self destructive or hazardous behaviours associated with male bonding rituals, are an

    important development in health promotion programs that can do the preventive work that

    the mental health system has largely abandoned.

Publication Date


  • 2009

Citation


  • Fildes, D. (2009). Shedding the light on men: the Wollongong Men's Project. In 19th IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 5-9 Jul 2009, Paris, France. Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, 13 (S1), S718-S718.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/ahsri/476

Start Page


  • S718

End Page


  • S718

Volume


  • 13

Issue


  • S1

Place Of Publication


  • France

Abstract


  • Men’s sheds are community based organisations where men can enjoy each

    others company and where self-worth can be promoted. At the same time skills can be

    developed for both the individual and the community. For older men these sheds offers the

    opportunity to make new mates and to form a new retirement identity by offering many of

    the positive things that paid work offered them. They are seen as a positive approach to

    men’s health and social needs and as a result many Australian State and Territory Health

    Services have funded and/or promoted them from a health promotion perspective. The

    Wollongong Men’s Project has operated as a shed-based group program since October

    2005. The aim of the project is to provide a group of retired and/or unemployed men from

    a multicultural background with opportunities for developing practical skills with a view to

    reducing their social isolation and increasing their self-esteem and sense of purpose. The

    project provides a shed space, resources, a community cultural arts worker and a

    multicultural health worker who work with the men on a range of skilled based activities.

    Methods and materials Evaluation was carried out using a Participatory Action Research

    (PAR) process together with a range of data collection tools. Results The evaluation has

    shown that the men have an increased sense of purpose and self confidence as a direct

    result of their involvement in the project. They have also broadened their social networks

    and have increased their skill levels. Conclusion The evaluation of the Wollongong Men’s

    Project has provided some valuable lessons. All-male social support networks, without the

    usual self destructive or hazardous behaviours associated with male bonding rituals, are an

    important development in health promotion programs that can do the preventive work that

    the mental health system has largely abandoned.

Publication Date


  • 2009

Citation


  • Fildes, D. (2009). Shedding the light on men: the Wollongong Men's Project. In 19th IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 5-9 Jul 2009, Paris, France. Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, 13 (S1), S718-S718.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/ahsri/476

Start Page


  • S718

End Page


  • S718

Volume


  • 13

Issue


  • S1

Place Of Publication


  • France