Men’s Sheds preparing to reopen as restrictions relax
AS THIS year’s Men’s Health Week draws to a close, the Lockyer Valley Community Activities Shed – formerly the Gatton Men’s Shed – is preparing to reopen.
“We’re aiming for some time in the first half of July,” member Will Visser said.
“And we’re also going ahead with our open day on October 17,” Mr Visser said.
Since their jumbled beginnings in the 1990s, Men’s Sheds have become a global phenomenon, becoming an integral contributor to local communities.
The Lockyer Valley Community Activities Shed has expanded its scope to include anyone who is interested in its activities.
“Apart from wood and metal work there are various kinds of artistic endeavours, hobby activities and even jewellery making,” Mr Visser said.
The group also recently completed work on a model railway set up for hobbyists.
Although the shed has been closed due to Covid-19 restrictions, members have still been keeping themselves busy.
“We’ve just completed a picnic table for DISCO here in Gatton,” Mr Visser said.
“That’s what the shed offers. It’s not just for us, it’s about giving back to the community as well.”
Given that Men’s Sheds were establishing in the name of reducing social isolation, the lockdowns have hit particularly hard for the organisations.
Australian Men’s Shed Association Executive Officer, David Helmers said: “Around the world, men – particularly older men – are finding themselves much healthier and happier through involvement in Men’s Sheds.
“Of course the day-to-day operations of Men’s Sheds must overcome to challenges of adhering to social distancing and hygiene measures,” Mr Helmers said.
“I know that I can speak on behalf of the almost 1200 Men’s Sheds around Australia when I say, it’s just great to be back.”
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Men’s Sheds are recognised as part of the Federal Government’s National Men’s Health Strategy 2020-2030, acknowledging their role addressing the impacts of social isolation and enhancing proactive approaches to healthy ageing for Australian men.
“The success is in the model – men don’t visit the Shed to improve their health, it’s somewhere to go and something to do. Positive health outcomes and community-building are a great by-product,” Mr Helmers said.
Other nearby sheds include Toogoolawah, Lowood, Rosewood, and Crows Nest, with work begun to establish another in Esk.
To locate the nearest Men’s Shed to your area, check out the website: https://mensshed.org/find-a-shed/
More stories by Nathan Greaves.