While sheds are often associated with working in solitude, the Men’s Shed movement redefines the somewhat humble locale, using sheds across the country as a means to connect men and provide an alternative to the pub. The initiative enables social interaction for men from all walks of life, while also keeping the idle hands of retirees busy. Last week was Men’s Shed Week, where sheds across Australia were celebrated for promoting men’s health.
With 930 sheds across Australia established as a social platform for retired men, the Men’s Shed initiative has been a champion for male mental health, allowing men to meet in a relaxed and positive environment. Members living in regional Australia occupy 55 per cent of those sheds, demonstrating the popularity of the service in our areas.
There’s even an associated website called theshedonline.org.au that connects those who cannot physically attend their nearest shed, removing the burden of physical distance. Our Member for Parkes Mark Coulton is a big promoter of the movement, leading the Parliamentary Friendship Group of Men’s Sheds. Of the initiative Mark said:
“Right across Australia Men’s Sheds are helping to reduce social isolation, strengthen communities and contribute to improvements in the health of individual men, particularly the mental health of retired and older men.”
Men’s Sheds are supported through the Federal National Shed Development Program, which has contributed $4.5m in funds. At a State level, funding applications for Men’s Sheds have been honoured via the Community Building Partnerships fund.
To join your local Men’s Shed or to simply learn more visit http://mensshed.org/.