Projects keep rolling

Tristan WheelerManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Manjimup Men's Shed members inspect one of the restored trailers they have been working on.
Camera IconManjimup Men's Shed members inspect one of the restored trailers they have been working on. Credit: Manjimup-Bridgetown Times

If you have ever stopped to admire some of the restored jinkers at the Manjimup Heritage Park, you might have encountered the handiwork of the Manjimup Men’s Shed.

Since its inception six years ago, the shed has been providing men with the opportunity to use its tools and equipment to undertake projects and do their bit for the community.

During the COVID-19 pandemic the shed remained open to members, allowing them to continue to work on projects.

“We’ve resurrected two or three trailers over the COVID lockdown period,” president Francis Hull said.

“We are able to support pretty much any project that’s of a reasonable size,” secretary Russell Candy said.

To pay for the cost of maintaining the facility and paying its rent, the shed often seeks contract work from the Manjimup Shire Council for the restoration and repair of items at the heritage park, as well as selling some of the items produced by the members of the shed.

Other fundraising activities include manning the gates of the Agricultural Society ploughing competition and raffling wood.

The shed gives members the chance to socialise with other members and to go on group excursions.

“The other thing we do is provide people with a social side, we’re not only doing work, Mr Russell said.

“The social side is there as well; we do outings, we go to other sheds, we’ve been to a number of museums, we’ve been to Dardanup Heritage Park and Bannister Downs.”

The shed also aims to help men with their health, inviting educators and health professionals to discuss health issues including nutrition, prostate cancer and diabetes.

Russell said the shed aimed to improve men’s mental health by providing companionship and getting people out of the house.

“The whole men’s shed movement, its whole reason for being is providing men a place to get together,” he said.

“The objective is to provide a man cave where people feel comfortable, it’s important that we run an operation that makes people comfortable when they come here.”

“When men retire they usually have nothing do, so they can come down to the shed and integrate with other people in the community,” Francis said.

As well as improving the lives of its members, the shed also plays host to a number of incursions, including students from Manjimup High School — who work alongside members — and those serving community sentence orders.

The shed provides a lunch service on Tuesday and Thursday — the main work days — as well as a morning tea service on Wednesday, which is purely to allow members to socialise.

“The benefits of working shoulder to shoulder with other guys is what it is about,” Russell said.

Shed membership is $50 per year and anyone interested in joining should contact Francis Hull on 9772 4554.

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