Sheds Kent & Medway Evaluation


What is this research?

The national charity Groundwork is delivering a Sheds project in Kent and Medway. Sheds is an innovative approach to improving wellbeing: a ‘Shed’ can take many forms, but it is always an informal space where people, especially men, can spend time in the company of their peers, engage in practical activities such as gardening or carpentry, share and learn skills, and even help the wider community.

Groundwork will be providing funding and support for Sheds to be set up across Kent and Medway. They have commissioned the McPin Foundation to evaluate this programme of work, and see how effective the Sheds have been at improving the wellbeing of the people who use them.


Why is this research important?

Improving men’s mental wellbeing and reducing male suicide rates is a key priority area within public mental health. We know that men are less likely to benefit from conventional approaches to improving mental wellbeing, e.g. counselling, or talking therapy. They are especially likely to be socially isolated, and at greater risk of experiencing poor mental health. This means it is important to commission and evaluate alternative approaches, so there can be more investment in the future in the most effective projects.


What are we doing?

We are carrying out a theory-based evaluation of Sheds Kent & Medway – which consists of the development of a Theory of Change for the programme, and a full process and impact evaluation. It will use a variety of methods, including observations, interviews, surveys and recognised measures like the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale.


What is the current status of the project?

The project began in April 2017 and will end in March 2019.


Who do I contact for more information?

For more information about the project, or to speak to a researcher, please email

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