kanahooka-men-shed-wollongong-nsw
Kanahooka Men's Shed near Wollongong, NSW has been servicing the local community for more than four years, has roughly 25 members and runs three days a week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays. Photo courtesy of Australian Men’s Shed Association
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Finding mateship in a men’s shed

Community men’s sheds are a grassroots movement that started in Victoria, Australia in 1998 and have since spread around Australia, with separate chapters set up in Scotland, Ireland, and the UK.

More than a space for blokes to tinker with their tools, men’s sheds have become a crucial community hub where men of all ages come together to share their life experiences, talk about their troubles, and break down the barriers associated with mental health. For some, they’re a vital lifeline that help them deal with the grief of losing a loved one, for others they offer a way to pass on their DIY skills to younger males in the community.

As the authors of this paper stated: “The most successful men’s shed are built on a solid foundation of partnership, planning and community support, with strategic intent, good leadership, sound policy and processes and support from external agencies.”
 

Spanner in the Works

Unlike most woman, men tend not to talk about their feeling or health issues with their friends, preferring instead to suffer in silence and ‘just get on with it’. To help address this situation, the Australian Men’s Shed Association launched an initiative called Spanner in the Works, which aims to provide basic health screening and advice to men, including:

  • Referring men to health professionals
  • Providing “men friendly” health information and health awareness
  • Encouraging men and ‘shedders’ to engage with their local health service providers
  • Encouraging men (non-shedders) to engage with their local Men’s Shed
  • Encouraging local health service providers and local Men’s Shed to engage with each other

 

National Men’s Shed Awards

If you have a men’s shed or know of one in your local community, then you might want to enter it into this year’s National Men’s Shed Awards. Nominations fall into the following five categories:

  1. Unique fundraising activity
  2. Unusual shed activity
  3. Best shed garden
  4. Outstanding recycling/up-cycling activity
  5. Shed of the Year

Nominations close today and you can download the form from here.
 

7th National Men’s Shed Conference

Themed “Onwards and Upwards”, the 2017 National Men’s Shed Conference will include interactive sessions where delegates and fellow ‘shedders’ can come together to share their personal stories, talk about their networking experiences, and discover ways to grow the success of their shed and the shed movement. The conference will also focus on operational matters including governance, financial management, and best practices.

September 29-October 1, 2017

Surfers Paradise, Queensland

Mantra on View Hotel

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Veda Dante

Veda Dante is an accomplished journalist, consultant and content creator who has nearly 30 years’ experience writing about everything from tourism, hospitality and health to architecture, pools and luxury goods. When she’s not producing copy for clients, this self-confessed word nerd is usually writing and photographing the Byron Bay region for her blog www.livebyron.com.au

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Homeloans Ltd.