Irish Men’s Sheds
The Irish Men’s Sheds Association (IMSA), the representative body for men’s sheds in Ireland, has launched an island-wide campaign #CallThemForACuppa calling on men’s sheds and the public to pick up the phone and call someone at risk of social isolation.
With the COVID-19 outbreak, many older people are socially isolating in order to reduce their risk of contracting the virus, however, IMSA is highlighting that while people can’t call in, they can call.
Speaking on the launch of the campaign, CEO of IMSA Barry Sheridan said:
“We always say that the ‘kettle is the most important tool in the shed’, a key part of any day in a shed is gathering around the table, having a cup of tea and a chat. While you can’t call in, you can call. The next time you’re sitting down for a cuppa, think of someone who is at risk of social isolation and give them a call.
“Whether it’s a neighbour, family member or friend, we want people to pick up the phone and #CallThemForACuppa. There are people in Ireland who now face weeks, perhaps months, with minimal social contact, or in some cases none at all.
“The sheds were set up to, among other things, help deal with social isolation for men, and so we are intimately aware of this issue. Isolation is an everyday issue across the whole of Ireland, now with the coronavirus it’s a crisis. We have to act together to lessen the impact of social isolation on the health of our older neighbours, relatives and friends.”
While all men’s sheds across Ireland are temporarily closed, they continue to connect with one another through alternative means such as checking in through phone, text and WhatsApp. The sheds are also operating a ‘buddy system’, whereby one member is responsible for checking in with another, ensuring that shedders are not isolated during this difficult time.