The Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) is one of the largest male based community development organisations in Australia. Men’s sheds help to improve the health and wellbeing of its male members by giving them a safe space where they can connect with other men and access health information and resources.
While the COVID-19 outbreak caused many Men’s Sheds to temporarily close, placing additional strain on the mental health of many in the community, the outlook in 2021 is positive. The NSW State Government is providing $2.4million dollars worth of funding to support Men’s Sheds Infrastructure projects through a series of grants programs as the Shed movement continues to grow in size and strength across the country.
What Is A Men’s Shed?
The Men’s Shed movement is based on the iconic backyard shed; in Australian culture, a place for men to be themselves and connect with other men in an atmosphere of mateship. Men are often reluctant to talk about their feelings, so a Men’s shed creates a safe and busy environment, where activities such as furniture making, arts and crafts and restoring bicycles take place, giving members the opportunity to reach out to other men without any pressure.
Members of Men’s Sheds come from all walks of life and age groups. And importantly, not all men’s sheds are exclusively for men. Some sheds welcome women and call themselves community sheds.
More Sheds to Improve Men’s Health
Emu Creek has its first Men’s shed thanks to the hard work of local doctor Adel Asaid. With Victoria having to endure two extensive lockdowns, Dr Asaid noticed an increase in men experiencing mental health issues. To encourage them to open up and talk, Dr Asaid transformed a shed at the back of his medical practice into the Emu Creek Men’s Shed. The shed now has 25 members and a donation of $10,000 from Strathfieldsaye Community Enterprise to go towards future costs.
Over in WA, the Midland Men’s shed was a hive of activity before COVID hit, hosting a range of community events and activities for 120 local members. Thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Commonwealth Bank, President of Midland Men’s Shed John Griffith has launched the ‘Come Back’ initiative to encourage local men to come back to the shed. So far, nearly 100 members have come back through the doors.
Find A Local Shed
There are almost 1000 sheds around Australia, and local sheds in almost every major city and town in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania, demonstrating how successful the men’s shed initiative is. So, if you have some time on your hands and would like to contribute to your community, or you just feel like a cuppa and a chat with other men, get involved with the Australian Men’s Shed Association. If there’s not a shed near you, find out how to start and run a men’s shed in your local area.
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