Bandon Men’s Shed appeal for permanent place to bloom
A West Cork Men’s Shed has issued an urgent appeal to Cork County Council and the local community to help it find a new premises, warning that it expects to become homeless within a year.
The successful Bandon Men’s Shed is responsible for a variety of local initiatives, including the popular annual Bandon in Bloom project under which colourful hanging baskets and window boxes for a variety of local towncentre businesses are produced and maintained by Men’s Shed members.
However, it’s now feared that the Shed, which is based in St Michael’s Centre in the town, will be made homeless in a matter of months because early-stage planning is underway for a new building project which will see the premises converted into accommodation and a community facility for the elderly.
The group is appealing to Cork County Council to provide a site for a permanent home for the group thus enabling them to potentially access funding to construct a premises.
Explaining that capital funding was available to build a premises if the organisation secures a suitable site, Bandon Men’s Shed coordinator, Tom McCleary said he was urging Cork County Council and the government itself to start giving support to the Men’s Shed movement.
“These groups can be difficult to set up and maintain and if they close down it is next to impossible to get them going again,” said Mr McCleary.
“We’re also issuing an SOS to the community, in the hope that somebody out there might be able to suggest a new premises for us.”
Mr McCleary, who has been with the Shed for six years, said he believes the Bandon group will not survive moving from one place to another.
“Lack of permanent accommodation really takes the wind out of your sails - people simply lose interest,” he said.
“Yet Men’s Sheds are a very important concept in terms of men’s mental and physical health. In some counties, the local authorities have supported their local Men’s Sheds with permanent accommodation. Some are rent-free, or can avail of free electricity or insurance,” he said adding that help from Cork County Council would be very gratefully received.
“Cork city recently hosted the biggest ever gathering of representatives of Men’s Sheds from all over the world something which shows the level of interest in the organisation.
“However, Men’s Sheds have to have support, and the government and local authorities need to provide men’s Sheds with some kind of security, because once they shut it’s too late.”
Bandon Men’s Shed co-ordinator Tom McCleary.