Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Men’s Shed?
A Men’s Shed is a dedicated, friendly and welcoming meeting place where men can come together. It’s a venue where members can share their skills and knowledge with others, learn new skills or redevelop old skills. Good health is based on many factors including feeling good about yourself, being productive and valuable to your community, connecting to friends, and maintaining an active body and an active mind. Becoming a member of a Men’s Shed provides a safe and welcoming environment where you can find many of these things. Also, importantly, there’s no pressure. Men can just come and have a chat and a cuppa if that’s all they’re looking for.
What is the history of the Men’s Shed movement?
The Men’s Shed movement began in Australia and has since spread internationally. The Australian Men’s Sheds Association was established in 2007 which now supports over 1,000 Sheds. There are also Sheds all across Europe, Canada the UK and a small but growing number in the US.
How did the MsoB begin?
In 2018 Head Shedder Marshall and other interested individuals decided to launch a Men’s Shed in Bellingham. In the year since great strides have led to regular meetings, expanded membership, an agreement to house a Shed workshop, numerous community projects, a partnership with the Whatcom Council on Aging, and much more.
Who is eligible for membership?
Individuals who wish to share their skills and experience, socialize, and serve our community and families.
Do I need to have any special skills with tools in order to join?
No. Shedders come together to socialize, serve the community, and aid one another. Being “handy” is not a prerequisite.
Can women become members?
Some Sheds are considering opening membership to women. MsoB has not yet addressed this issue.
How do I join?
Just complete a member application and pay the $50 fee. You must be a member of the Bellingham Senior Activity Center to join MsoB.
Why is there a membership fee?
MsoB fees go to support member activities, scholarships for applicants unable to afford the cost of membership, and cover to overhead costs. All Steering Committee members are volunteers serving without compensation. The Committee works diligently to keep costs low, seeking contributions from partners as appropriate.
How come I have to join the Senior Center as well?
MsoB operates under the umbrella of the Whatcom Council on Aging (WCoA), which also operates the Bellingham Senior Activity Center. This relationship affords MsoB non-profit status as a 501(c)(3) entity, covers our liability insurance, and opens an avenue for grants and other possible financial assistance.
And I have to fill out an application at Habitat for Humanity too?
We have a no-cost agreement with Habitat for Humanity to utilize space in their building. MsoB members planning to work in that facility must be identified and cleared by Habitat both for insurance purposes and because their program mentors youth onsite.
When do you meet?
MsoB meets the second Thursday of each month at the Bellingham Senior Activity Center located at 315 Halleck Street.
Can I suggest a project?
Yes. We encourage members to propose projects beneficial to individuals, institutions, and other entities in the area. The Steering Committee explores and evaluates new ideas, speaks with potential partners, estimates costs and manpower required, and determines suitability of a project before determining whether or not to go forward on a proposal.