A life after retirement

A group of men in the North Okanagan are building a Vernon branch of a global organization.

The Men's Shed is not just a group, it's an idea that a man has a purpose after retirement. 

"It is just men getting together," says Lyle Enns, one of the founding members of the Vernon chapter.

Enns says after retirement a man's self-worth may diminish. He may feel lonely because his social life may have been at work. A man may even begin to feel depressed. Suicidal thoughts may occur, and he might start believing he is useless, or no longer has value at his home. 

"There are so many men who don't have a place to do something in," says Enns. "It doesn't have to be woodwork, it can be metal, it can be anything."

Their numbers are still small, and they are looking for a space to work out of, but Enns and a few others have only been at this few months. 

“Everyone we talk to loves the idea, and we now have a group of 10 to 15 guys committed to getting a Vernon shed going.  We’re looking at how to best work with local non-profit and men’s health agencies. The first volunteer work projects have already begun, and we are searching for a Shed location of about 3,000 sq ft.”

There's only a handful of Men's Sheds in Canada, including one in Kelowna, but there are thousands across the world. 

Men’s Shed started in Australia nearly twenty years ago as a place for men to gather, to meet, to build vital friendships and undertake purposeful activities.

"Men have long attributed identity, relationships, self-worth, and even their daily schedule to their profession and career. When that ends abruptly on retirement the change can be difficult to deal with for many men," says Enns.

"That’s where Men’s Shed comes in with a formula that has really been a hit with guys. Local “Sheds” offer mature men an outlet to get together for a coffee, build any number of projects in a common shop, exchange and grow their skills, and support other community organizations with their work. It just so happens that we remain happier and healthier as a side benefit."

Anyone interested in joining the group can contact Lyle Enns at [email protected] 

"So, perhaps you’re tired of watching television. Would you like some new friends, working with tools, a little exercise, and an opportunity to contribute back to our community? Well, then, Men’s Shed may be just the place to hang out." 

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