Don’t let the tools fool you – this Men’s Shed is more than just a workshop, it’s a place of friendship and fun.
June 11-17 is Men’s Health Week; aimed at raising awareness and prevention of men’s health issues and to celebrate men’s roles within the community.
The VMCH Men’s Shed in Wantirna, run by not-for-profit organisation Villa Maria Catholic Homes (VMCH), has provided a safe-haven for men for more than a decade.
Three times each week, around 30 men aged over 65 pop into the shed to have a chat, a cuppa and work on some woodwork projects for their family members and friends. The seniors – who may have dementia, a physical disability, or are frail aged – are usually referred to the shed by local support agencies and through My Aged Care.
Noel, who has recently created a Sydney Harbour Bridge replica out of matchsticks (below), said he enjoyed visiting the shed to “chat to the other guys and make things”.
John said: “The company is great. It’s better than staying at home and there’s people in the same boat as me.”
For Ron, the answer to why he attends was simple: “There’s no women here!”
An Out and About Men’s group also runs on a Monday, giving men the opportunity to go out for lunch or take part in a fun activity.
Men’s Shed supervisor Nicola Guida said the social aspect of the shed had a positive impact on the men’s mental wellbeing.
“To put it simply, it’s very important. It gives them an opportunity to be with other like-minded blokes to interact and bond. They actually share some pretty personal stuff sometimes which is helpful to them. They support and look out for one another and are good friends,” Nic said.
“One of our newest members said he was fighting boredom at home, and now looks forward to his day at the centre.”
Creating woodwork pieces including bird baths, pencil boxes and toys for their grandchildren also give the men a sense of purpose and accomplishment, Nic said.
For more information about the VMCH Men’s Shed, call 9800 7210.