Step by Step | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën


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Step by Step

Priority Axis

Technological and Social Innovation

Specific objective

Social Innovation

Lead partner

The Health and Europe Centre


Start Date


End Date


Project budget

4 356 677

ERDF amount

2 614 006

ERDF rate



    Common challenge

    Men’s health & wellbeing is suffering across the 2Seas area with high & increasing suicide/depression rates. In Kent (PP2) suicide is the highest killer of men aged under 45 and in Schilderswijk (PP6) depression is at 21% of the male population. Men visit their GP on average 20% less than women and delay seeking medical help indicating a level of social exclusion or inertia. Preparation work has highlighted:

    • a demand for community based activities to improve health and wellbeing and reduce vulnerability
    • a need to address social cohesion by intergenerational skills transfer to bring more people into the labour market (male unemployment in Wattrelos is 25.2% and the French unemployment rate nationally is 10%).
      World Economic Forum research indicates that areas with higher employment tend to have lower suicide rates.

    Main Achievements

    SBS got off to a flying start in 2017/18, with all partners engaging with enthusiasm. The quality of and commitment to cross-border collaboration is noteworthy. Five two-day meetings and one three-day meeting involving all partners took place between September 2017 and September 2018 – visiting each country, and the majority of partners (often by combining sites/partner visits). 

    Experience and good practice from all of them was shared. These visits have inspired everyone involved, and are leading to lots of positive thinking about the next steps.
    The first main section of the project aims to develop a "third generation" model of Shed, and evaluate it - and the first draft was written in a fully collaborative fashion, and is being reflected on and refined, towards its completion in 2019.
    Alongside this, partners are working on the more specialised elements in WP2 - health champions, kiosk engagement, employability, and the digital tool.  These elements will be taken to the next level during 2019, on the solid foundations laid in 2018.

    Evaluation - not a WP in its own right in SBS - is well-integrated, and PP4 is an integral part of all discussions, and a key co-ordinator alongside the Lead Partner and the Work Package leads.

    Sheds (sometimes referred to as Workshops, where the Shed term is not likely to be understood/relevant) are locally-rooted organisations aimed at providing purposeful activity alongside advice and support on health and wellbeing, promoting social interaction and increased quality of life. 

    As with this project, they are typically aimed at men, for whom social networks are often less evident, but not to the exclusion of women.  Typically, they are self-sustaining once established, and are created and defined in response to the needs of their community.



    Kent County Council

    Hampshire County Council

    University of Chichester

    Bolwerk vzw

    Association des Centres Sociaux de Wattrelos – ACSW

    ADICE - Association pour le Développement des Initiatives Citoyennes et Européennes

    Centre social Jean Ferrat

    Stichting voor de Haagse Jeugd Clubhuizen De Mussen

    Wellbeing People


    URL / Download

    A 2Seas-specific 3rd generation Men’s Shed model covering mental/physical health & wellbeing, skill exchange & pathways to participation & employment

    Theme: Health care - Social services
    Type: Method/tool
    Target: Citizens - Local, regional and national authorities - Social enterprises and non-for-profit organisations

    Programme to create champions for health & wellbeing from within the shed/workshop community

    Theme: Health care - Social services
    Type: Method/tool
    Target: Citizens - Local, regional and national authorities - Social enterprises and non-for-profit organisations