Men's Shed at Solihull's Marie Curie hospice inspiration for toolkit rolled out across UK  - The Solihull Observer

Men's Shed at Solihull's Marie Curie hospice inspiration for toolkit rolled out across UK 

Solihull Editorial 1st May, 2024   0

A SHELDON man has spoken about how a hospice group for men to come together, open up and support each other has helped him.

This comes after Marie Curie launched a toolkit for hospices across the UK aiming to establish “Men’s Sheds” as an integral part of their support services.

Paul Whelan was referred to Marie Curie following a diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease in 2015.

The 67-year-old is a founder member of the Men’s Shed at the Marie Curie Hospice in Solihull.

A Men’s Shed represents a physical space where a group of men can meet, organise, and participate in social activities and talk to others who are in a similar situation to themselves.

He said: “When I first came to the hospice there was no designated space or group specifically for men to talk about their experiences.




“We originally met in the hospice but in 2020 we had raised enough money for our own space in the grounds of the hospice.

“Men who are living with a terminal illness or grieving can come to the shed to share their experience, knowing that others in the group will know exactly what they’re going through.”


The group who meet every Tuesday has 14 members which allows the men to speak freely.

Paul said: “Men’s Shed has made an enormous difference to me. If I didn’t have the Men’s Shed, I’d be lost.”

Following the group’s success a study was conducted by the University of Warwick and funded by Marie Curie to investigate the ways a Men’s Shed could promote the health and well-being of men who might otherwise avoid traditional health services.

The researchers found that the Men’s Shed was an important place for men who needed support when dealing with issues related to the end of life.

Rachel Perry, study co-lead and research nurse at the Marsh Lane hospice said: “Many members described how they had become more isolated from their wider friendship groups when they were bereaved or as their disease progressed and described how attending and being a member of the Men’s Shed group helped to lessen the feelings of being alone.”

Dr John I MacArtney, study co-lead and Marie Curie Associate Professor, University of Warwick goes on to say: “It was clear to us that a Men’s Shed can be an essential part of hospice services.

“By developing this toolkit, we hope more hospices will set up a Men’s Shed and recognise it as a crucial part of supporting men who are living with a terminal illness or have been affected by bereavement.”

 

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