Member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis, today congratulated the volunteers behind the Banksia Village Men’s Shed for their successful grant application of $3,233. “The Banksia Village shed offers great benefits to men who want some time out in a relaxed and familiar environment,” she said. “Men’s sheds are integral to the community and the benefits to men’s health are widely acknowledged, volunteers will use the funding for tools, equipment, community projects as well as first aid and CPR training.” Round 16 of the National Shed Development Programme is now open – details of all the new grants can be found at www.mensshed.org.
The Banksia Men’s Shed is celebrating its 4th birthday this year. The idea to establish a Men’s Shed originally came from their Activities Officer, Peter Eveille, who had previously helped start a Men’s Activity Centre for Banksia Lodge and Banksia Village residents in November 2013. While the Activities Centre was popular, with around 20 residents regularly participating, Peter felt there was a need to further improve the activities available especially for male residents at the residential aged care facility, Banksia Lodge. Having had prior experience with the Men’s Shed program, Pete could see the benefits it would offer the residents for social contact and support, keeping active, and using their skills or learning new ones. So, with full support from Banksia, Pete set about establishing the Men’s Shed and worked with the University of Canberra’s CHART Program to secure initial funding for the project. Thanks to Pete’s efforts and commitment, Banksia Men’s Shed was officially registered as a member of the Australian Men’s Shed Association in July 2014 and with the support of its members has been going strong ever since. Three and a half years down the track, the Men’s Shed plays an important role in Banksia's active living program. Members – or “shedders”, as they’re known – meet each week for a work session and a cuppa, often followed by a sausage sizzle and a beer when they’ve downed tools for the day. It’s a great way for them to keep active and mentally stimulated and enjoy some relaxed social contact. “We average around 45 members altogether now, with around 4-5 coming along each week”, says Peter. “Over time members have joined from the retirement village part of Banksia too, which is really great for social interaction and sharing skills.” In addition to making products for fundraising, the Men’s Shed members are also giving back to the broader community through initiatives such as the partnership with Mogo Zoo by providing breeding boxes for the Zoo’s breeding program. The official Men’s Shed program is run by the Australian Men’s Shed Association, who set out to provide a way for local communities to create a safe and busy environment for men with no pressure and plenty of mateship. Established in 2007, the Association supports almost 1,000 individual Men’s Sheds across the country. To find out more about the Australian Men’s Shed Association , or how you can start a Men’s Shed in your area, visit their website at www.mensshed.org/, call them on 1300 550 009 or email them at email@example.com.