Men’s Shed Carn use apps to keep
unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, and the need to
self-isolate, members of the Men’s Shed Carn have
been harnessing internet apps such as Whatsapp and
Facebook to keep in touch and to share the
activities they have been involved in.
Deborah Shiels, Office Manager of the Men’s Shed
Carn said: “Once again, we find ourselves in the
midst of a crisis. The impact of this on our members
is potentially profound. A lot of them are being
asked to ‘cocoon’ and with that, the social outlet
provided by the Shed has been taken away from them.
Never has the need for a strong support network and
the undertaking of projects or hobbies been so vital
for our wellbeing as it is today. Although we are in
confinement in our homes, this does not have to
isolate us from society or support networks such as
the members of the Shed where we encourage as much
communication with fellow members as possible.
As such, we decided to harness the technologies a
lot of them have on their phones to stay in touch
and have set up a Whatsapp group where members can
easily stay in touch and share images of projects
they are working on, hobbies carried out or perhaps
stories or songs they could share through video."
Deborah continued: "One of our members has even
offered to do a cooking demonstrations for us
through Whatsapp. In the next few weeks we will also
start looking into using video sharing technology
such as Zoom as a tool to reach out to our members
and to help them stay in touch – while at a safe
We plan to offer tutorials and support showing
members how to use such tools and any other
technology which they feel would enhance their
communication with friends and family members at
this time, such as Skype.
In the next few weeks we are looking into
competitions and perhaps quizzes we could organise.
This could take the form of a Zoom call or maybe
through Whatsapp, there are so many types of
technology for this type of communication and for
this we have to be thankful."
"Like everyone else, we had so many projects planned
for April, May & June this year, however they were
not meant to be and we have to adapt to an
alterative way of delivering our service. As the
uncertainty of the timeframe of this lockdown
remains we are now planning more long-term in the
delivery of online services. We hope to expand on
what we deliver online in the near future to include
training and online tutorials – so watch this space.
If you would like any information about the services
we plan to offer or want to sign up as a member
please contact Deborah Shiels on
firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Facebook,”
Pictured L-R: Davy McLaughlin (Bill)
& Martin Marchbank from Men’s Shed Carn presenting
a cheque to Eamon from the Donegal Cancer Bus back
in 2015. Also in the
photo is Maurice McEniry.
Deborah concluded: “The
Men’s Shed Carn has been operating since February
2012, with support from IDP (Inishowen Development
Partnership), with the original objective of the
project being to create a social outlet for men of
the local community who had been impacted by the
recession, and to share their skills. The shed now
has more than 40 members and has more recently been
expanded to include women members."
A long-standing Men’s Shed Carn member, Maurice Mc
Elvaney, shares his reasons for joining the shed; “I
was recovering from depression when I heard that a
Men’s Shed was starting in the old Co-op on Moville
Road. This was a response to the severe recession. I
wasn’t surprised that there was a huge take-up among
young and ‘not so young’ who had become unemployed
and needed a structure in their lives."
“What did surprise me was how well members of
different ages worked so well together. Members with
certain skills were generous in helping those who
lacked manual skills. It was wonderful to see
members aged 70+ giving advice to fellows of 20+ and
that help being taken and appreciated. There were a
number of team projects such as the making of a
traditional Irish curragh boat and restoration of an
old pony trap. These knitted the membership
together. To be a small part of these projects was a
great help in getting me over my severe depression.
A few evenings each week gave me a structure to my
life and made me much more balanced mentally and I
can say that through the Men’s Shed I made friends