18 Oct More than just a shed | Timboon Men’s Shed
If you looked inside a typical Men’s Shed you might see a number of men making furniture, perhaps making reindeer for Christmas or a dairy rotary for a young precious community member.
You might also see a few young men working with the older men obtaining new skills and learning something about life from the men with whom they work. You might see local elders making and designing arts and crafts. You will see teabags, coffee cups and a comfortable area where men can sit and talk. You will probably also see an area where men can learn to cook for themselves or how to contact their families by computer.
The Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) was established in 2007 by a collection of Australian independent community-based Men’s Sheds to represent, support and promote the Men’s Shed movement. It was founded on the principle of sharing information between sheds and those communities wishing to establish and operate a Men’s Shed.
Many men, especially after retirement, find themselves alone, often living in isolation and needing to connect with their community and find new purpose but aren’t sure how. Others just want to learn a new skill or revisit old ones. AMSA have created a number of channels to help continue the discussion outside of the shed.
The Timboon Men’s Shed has found its humble beginnings 16 years ago at the Baptist Church. It moved to its current location when Timboon and District Healthcare Service bought a block of land and offered it to the Timboon Men’s Shed to build a shed to continue its important mission for men’s health and wellbeing.
Tom Hose has been a member from the beginning. “Timboon Men’s Shed runs independently from the healthcare service, but it still supports us in many ways, especially financially, by paying the rates, water and maintenance,” he said.
It currently has 19 members, ranging from mid-teens to late 80’s, who pay only $10 a week, and can come when they want to on Tuesdays between 9 am and 2 pm (including lunch) and Thursdays between 9 am and 12 pm (including morning tea).
When you talk to the men you get the idea that they all get something different out of it: social interaction, enjoyment of making things, company, get out of the house and learning new skills.
Terry O’Connor also loves coming to the Men’s Shed. “With my disability, I often think of ideas to create certain objects to assist in the Occupational Therapy area, like the hand therapy object I’m working on now,” he said.
While talking to Terry and Tom other members are being cheeky saying that the wives are probably paying for the membership to keep the men out of the house😊
“I absolutely love it!” Ray McCraw said. “Everybody does their own thing; you can put something together in the shed or you can just observe and have a chat.”
As the Secretary, Ray is always happy with donations. “The timber we use for our projects is donated from within our community, but we also source from out of town,” he said. “We had a lady who wanted us to make some drums and after some research, we found out that sugar gum was the best timber to use. We found a generous guy in Lismore, who was happy to donate the sugar gum we needed.”
Making the drums provided an exciting challenge for the men and they created a steam “machine” to bend the sugar gum. “I love those challenges,” Ray said with a big smile. “I even enjoy the challenge of cooking lunch when our regular wonderful cook Gloria is away.”
Why not jump in and contact Ray on 0499 740 336 to join a group of like-minded mates?