This is Paula Larkin’s bright idea for Cork.

Our bright idea is to develop a men's shed and sensory garden for men living with brain injury.


We will establish a Men’s Shed, based on the successful global model, in the grounds of the Headway centre on the Carrigrohane Road in Cork.

The Shed will open twice weekly to men living with brain injury and to the male residents of nearby Farranlee Community Nursing Unit.

Brain injury can leave people isolated, feeling forgotten and misunderstood by the world. Our Men’s Shed will be a safe, productive, energising space for the many men with brain injury living in Cork who feel they no longer have a purpose, giving them place to go where they are understood and can make a difference.

We are partnering with our neighbours Farranlee CNU as we know that people living in care settings experience those same feelings of being shut away from the world.

This Men’s Shed will transform and give friendship, growth and purpose to a community of people who might otherwise be isolated and lonely.

Our first project will be to build a sensory garden on site that can be accessed by all clients of Headway and residents of Farranlee CNU. This garden will reinvigorate the people of our community, bringing new life to the local environment. This project is a community investment for the future.

There are large numbers of Irish men living with brain injuries from strokes and accidents, creating a need for safe and productive spaces where they can come together and foster peer support.

The Men’s Shed network has been hugely successful in improving health and wellbeing in communities worldwide. We believe our innovative idea to adapt this model to the needs of men living with brain injury will greatly improve their quality of life.

Our Headway Cork Men’s Shed will be a place for creativity, growth and revitalisation, in a supportive environment.

Farranlee CNU provides residential care to a mix of young and older men, who have little access to the outside world. Attending our Men’s Shed will open up what is an insular and sheltered way of living, by providing socialisation and engagement in a community outside of the nursing home.

By choosing a sensory garden as the first project our Men’s Shed will create a tangible community asset that will be enjoyed by many into the future. We hope that once KBC have helped us with this first step to build our shed and garden we will be able to expand our future projects to spread vitality even further into our local Cork community.