By Kenan Beaumont
There’s a new all male movement taking place across Australia and it’s happening behind closed doors … shed doors that is.
Called Men’s Sheds and with more than one thousand registered nationally, small groups of men are coming together to work on individual and community-based projects.
“The idea of the Men’s Shed is for men to help each other on different projects, pass on skills and socialise,” says Neil Harrison, a committee member for the Cockburn Community Men’s Shed.
Mr Harrison says because most of the members are elderly and retired the Men’s Shed is a good place for them to keep active and be sociable.
Even some of the men’s wives encourage the idea and supported the Cockburn Council’s decision to build one in the area, says Neil.
The Cockburn Community Men’s Shed has been running for more than a year now and thrives on the support of its members and the local council.
While the Cockburn Council funds the building, the tools and hardware have been donated by members or bought with money earned through fundraising.
“A large majority of the interior like the work benches and drawers were made by the members here,” says Neil.
One of the members of the Cockburn Community Men’s Shed, Dennis Platts, has been using the facilities since the start.
“I don’t think about why I come here, it’s just a pleasant place to be, and if I have trouble with something then there are plenty of people I can talk to about it,” says Dennis who also has his own workshop at home.
The Cockburn Community Men’s Shed is sometimes approached with projects from the council.
Last year they were given the task to create equipment for a dog exercise park.
They have also recently begun taking on some paying jobs which will allow them to buy new tools and equipment for the shed.