Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the Outreach participation events for 2020 have been cancelled. We will try to revive the program in 2021.
Outreach is an activity of providing services to any populations who might not otherwise have access to these services. A key component of outreach is that the group(s) providing it are not stationary, but mobile. Limited activities and/or programs: The opportunities for senior and retired men provided through the Men’s Sheds Activity programs are not available in the proposed target areas, nor are there equivalent programs designed to deal with their specific needs. This program will address these needs, increase awareness and introduce the senior residents to new options.
The outreach program was limited to local venues only in the current year due to lack of funding and other factors. Building on the Outreach program of 2018 and with the experience, support and contacts gained, there is a need to continue the program and take the ‘show on the road’ again during the spring and summer of 2020 to new locations throughout the Okanagan, Shuswap, Thomson and Nicola areas, at community events and scheduled sessions. The 2018 Outreach program concentrated on the communities in the South Okanagan and Similkameen area in partnership with a research project by UBCO dealing with Seniors Health issues. We were able to introduce the Men’s Shed concept of an activity centre for men, combatting social isolation and the related health issues which are prevalent in the male population in smaller communities which lack alternative services. Peer group mentoring and camaraderie are two major beneficial elements provided by this program. The most effective way to get this concept understood is by hands on visual and action demonstration. Brochures and posters are not effective except as supporting take away material. ‘Show me don’t tell me’
At least two new sheds started as result of this 2018 effort and follow up in 2019. There are indications of interest in several other communities where a field trip would be welcome.
The communities which develop a Men’s Sheds as a result of the Outreach program may be dependent on the Okanagan Men’s Sheds Association for support materials to start, but should become self sustaining with local and other resources. This pattern has developed successfully in other smaller communities in other parts of Canada in recent years. We anticipate a similar result.
We plan to make full use of our existing trailer based mobile demonstration shop, equipment and tools, with improvements and additions as needed. We are able to provide some basic start up and support materials to aid in local development. We plan to expand our capacity to provide for activities other than simple hobby woodwork and include more challenges including some ‘tech tools’ like our CNC unit, 3D printer, small mechanical and electrical/electronics fix-it capability and other activities to be determined. We can use this mobile unit to promote and encourage men in other communities to form local Sheds , encourage support from organizations and local agencies for such a program. (plant some seeds) Use the time available to build up contacts, schedules, coordination to prepare for a spring/summer tour program.