Gympie Men’s Shed good to go

Gympie Men’s Shed member Tim Aitken with the group’s new shed after receiving the keys yesterday.
Gympie Men’s Shed member Tim Aitken with the group’s new shed after receiving the keys yesterday. Renee Pilcher

FROM zero to a hundred. This is how organisers of Gympie's Men Shed are describing their new hang out.

The group, led by co-ordinator Neil Wildman, was finally handed the keys to its Tozer St shed yesterday.

The shed was formerly a building used by the Mary Valley Heritage Railway.

Mr Wildman struggled to believe the group had got a shed "so perfect".

"We are spoilt for space and the location is perfect," he said.

"We were starting to despair looking for somewhere but early April we found out about this shed.

"It's all happened so quickly and we are really grateful."

The lease started July 1 and the group throws open the doors on Monday.

At first the Gympie Men's Shed will open five days each week, with plans to expand to seven days a week.

The Men's Shed is a place for wives to dump their husbands for trouble-free shopping, Mr Wildman joked yesterday.

For one member, it is a place to come and watch horror movies.

"This one member wanted to watch horror films but with five children and a wife not so keen, he can come here and watch the films," Mr Wildman said.

But on a more serious note, the shed provides a shared space for blokes to indulge in hobbies, have a chat and connect with the community.

With depression and isolation affecting many men, the group wants to help lower the impact in a non-threatening and welcoming environment.

Member Tim Aitken, who also runs a walking group based at the Men's Shed, said it was important to tackle the unfounded expectation on men to not speak about how they felt or difficulties in their life."

"It's about breaking that stigma," he said.

Looking ahead, the group wants to help the community bridge the gap between the young and mature, encourage story-telling and mentoring and be role models.

"If kids want to come and learn some new skills, we can try and make that happen," Mr Wildman said.

"There's not enough low-cost training options."

Gympie Times

Topics:  depression mary valley heritage railway mens shed

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