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Microsoft in your community

Assisting Clondalkin Men’s Shed to create community connections in Dublin

Creating a gathering place for support and community

In Q3FY18, Clondalkin Men’s Shed received an award of $10,000 from the Microsoft Community Empowerment Fund. The donation will be spent on materials for various projects that will be given out to local schools and charities. The Men’s Shed is a group of men that gather in a workshop to do things together, building community and brotherhood. They build things for local schools (for example, bully benches for kids to use when feeling bullied for support from students and teachers).

Engaging with local organizations and schools

The Men’s Shed’s core is bringing together men in an inclusive environment while building various projects for local organizations. They continue to expand giving to local charities such as the Irish Wheelchair Association and Collinstown School. This club is free to join and deals with local issues like loneliness and mental health. Members have an opportunity to be active participants in what they design and how they provide for local charities. The men in the Men’s Shed design and evolve the programs, engaging directly with the charities. By working alongside each other, members talk and learn skills. Men don’t talk eye to eye but shoulder to shoulder and in talking, they share their problems. The projects they make go out into the community. There is an opportunity for the men to work in the local schools as well.

Members also repair existing structures and are environmentally friendly. They recycle waste from other developments and remove materials from the dump. They could evolve their program to involve reforestation, getting involved in planting trees to help meet the nation’s woodland forestation commitment, which includes watershed and biodiversity preservation.