Programs & Activities
WHAT DO WE DO?
We are a group of men who get together in a safe and friendly environment to socialize and to engage in common interests.
We work on community projects and other activities that are determined by the interests of the men in the group. Some examples of possible activities are: woodworking, gardening, cooking, bike repair, golfing, and so on.
New members are always welcome. The shed is open to men of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.
HOW DO WE BENEFIT?
We believe that men can live longer, healthier and happier lives in the Okanagan by:
- enjoying the camaraderie of other men with similar interests
- applying our combined knowledge, experience and skills
- sharing stories
- mentoring others
- finding new opportunities and interests
- stimulating imaginations, new challenges
- rejuvenating spirits and
- having fun
- Casual coffee and chat, meet the guys!
- Hobby, crafts, coffee, cards, camaraderie and more.
- Activities and projects are determined by and approved by the members
- Cribbage tournaments may happen
- Woodcarving and other ‘table-top’ activities
- Developing some ‘tech toys’
- CNC mill,
- computer skills,
- electronics lab to be developed,
- 3D Printer (build and operate)
Important Community Programs
Men’s Activity Centre Program
The Okanagan Men’s Sheds facilitates a Men’s Activity Centre Program which has been expanding in Kelowna since 2013 and is gaining recognition and acceptance in the community as an effective program for men at risk of social isolation due to critical life transitions. There are limited options available to men interested in hands on constructive activities which provide them with a sense of purpose and achievement.
Expanding on this base are community service projects, workshop projects and opportunities through mentoring; use of facilities which encourage new personal interest projects. Community service projects are usually initiated by a request from a church or community service organization for help with a project or program.
The program extends to work with Interior Health counselling services, Canadian Mental Health and other agencies to provide a ‘post graduation’ social and activity opportunity for some of their male clients. This allows the client to move on with his life and makes a space for another person in the health services program.
We have developed the networks and reputation which encourages support from the various agencies and partners. To be sustainable and able to continue to encourage participation of members and others, to continue to assist community service providers and to maintain a valued presence in the community, these revenues need to be supplemented by external sources.
Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the Outreach participation events for 2020 and 2021 have been cancelled. We will try to revive the program in 2022 with the generous support of a United Way projects grant!
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.
More about the Outreach Programs
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 2022 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.
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.
Mobile Display Events Trailer
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 encourage men in other communities to form local Sheds.
We want to 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.