Power to the Mens Shed

MP for Farrer Sussan Ley with the members of the Narrandera Men’s Shed. The Men’s Shed have received a federal grant which will cover the cost of electricity installation in their new shed.

The Narrandera branch of the Australian Men’s Shed Association have received a grant worth over $3000 to fund the electricity in a new shed.

Member for Farrer, Sussan Ley, was in Narrandera on Tuesday to congratulate the Men’s Shed members on the grant. Ms Ley stayed for morning tea at the shed, and while the Men’s Shed members were happy to discuss their plans for the grant, talk quickly moved on to shearing sheds, shearer’s strikes and unions.

The extension of the shed was initially funded by a grant from Narrandera Shire Council.

“They gave us a grant for $15,000 – there’s been a slight adjustment in that. We’ve done well out of the shire, that’s all I’ll say,” said Narrandera Men’s Shed president Terry Gresser.

Ms Ley commented during the morning tea that the Narrandera Men’s Shed, now in its ninth year, had been very well supported by its Shire Council. The additional federal grant of $3140 is part of  a broader fund worth $5.1 million that the Federal Government is providing to the Australian Men’s Shed Association to support the national network of Men’s Sheds.

“The people who make the sheds in Sydney have given us a 10 per cent discount off all of the materials,” Mr Gresser said. “They quoted us for the build, and they gave us $500 off the quote, and that’s pretty good. Having this grant for $3000 to put the electricity in, it’s really going to help us. I think we’ve done quite well.”

The new shed will act as an extension of the current shed used on the Narrandera Showground.

“It’s a funny set up. Where we are in this building belongs to the Showground trust. All our machinery is ours, of course. But this  new building belongs to us.”

Currently the Men’s Shed extension is still in its early stages, but already its members are discussing what to do with the extension. So far the general consensus is that the new extension will be used for either woodworking or welding.

“A couple of them have made their mind up already,” Mr Gresser said. “It will go to a vote, and majority rules. It helps to  do it that way – there can be a lot of ill feeling otherwise.

“Some of the other sheds are run on more or less military lines. We run on very relaxed lines.

“We’ve had a couple of people here, one bloke, his wife had passed away and he was not travelling well, and we found it was – he appreciated if we just sat and talked to him. That’s the aim and ambition of Men’s Sheds, as a meeting place where we can socialise and talk to each other.”

Ms Ley said she was happy to support the Australian Men’s Shed Association.

“As men get older, Men’s Sheds allows blokes to connect with each other, helping avoid social isolation and preventable health conditions. The funding means communities such as Narrandera have a venue with a safe and friendly environment, where men  can work on projects at their own pace, in their own time, and in the company of others.

“Shed members also have an opportunity to pass their skills onto others, learn new things, or just catch up regularly with other men in the community for a chat and a cuppa,” Ms Ley said.

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