What Is Men's Shed?
Men’s Sheds are springing up all around Australia. Each shed is different due to space constraints, available equipment, community needs and in particular, the enthusiasm of its members. They all have a common goal to help promote men’s health. You might also see a few young men working with the older men learning new skills and maybe also learning something about life from the men they work with.
You will see tea-bags, coffee cups and a comfortable area where men can sit and talk. Some sheds have an area where men can learn to cook for themselves or they can learn how to contact their families by computer.
So what is so special about this new type of Men’s Shed? Most men have learned from our culture that they don’t talk about feelings and emotions. There has been little encouragement for men to take an interest in their own health and well-being. Unlike women, most men are reluctant to talk about their emotions and that means they usually don’t ask for help. Probably because of this many men are less healthy than women, they drink more, take more risks and they suffer more from isolation, loneliness and depression.
Good health is based on many factors including feeling good about yourself, being productive and valuable to your community, connecting to friends and maintaining an active body and an active mind. The sheds resources can be used to help people in need in the community. Becoming a member of a Men’s Shed gives a man that safe and busy environment where he can find many of these things in an atmosphere of old-fashioned mateship. Importantly, there is no pressure, men can just come and have a yarn and a cuppa if that is all they’re looking for.
Members of Men’s Sheds come from all walks of life – the bond that unites them is that they are men with time on their hands and they would like something meaningful to do with that time.
A good Men’s Shed has a safe and happy environment where men are welcome to work a project of their choice in their own time and where the only ‘must’ is to observe safe working practices.
Because men don’t make a fuss about their problems, these problems have consistently been either ignored or swept under the mat. The Men’s Shed movement is one of the most powerful tools we have in helping men to once again become valued and valuable members of our community. Come and see for yourself!
Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) and affiliated State associations were set up to act as a resource centres for all Sheds and to promote the idea of Independent Community Men’s Sheds. The Association represents and promotes the Shed movement, and acts as a communications hub using their website and regular newsletters. The Warrnambool shed is a member of Victorian Men’s Shed Association (VMSA) with a link on this site.
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