Shedload of support shown

Amaroo board of directors president Norm Smith, Southern Districts Rotary president John Rechichi, Gosnells Community Men’s Shed chairman Geoff Wiltshire and Gosnells Mayor Dave Griffith, with Men’s Shed members.
Amaroo board of directors president Norm Smith, Southern Districts Rotary president John Rechichi, Gosnells Community Men’s Shed chairman Geoff Wiltshire and Gosnells Mayor Dave Griffith, with Men’s Shed members.

Organiser Geoff Wiltshire told members the shed had won $500,000 in Lotterywest funding and could now expand according to its vision.

Since forming last year, its home has been heritage-listed Lewis House on Lissiman Street, thanks to the generosity of landowner Amaroo.

It had aimed to build a workshop on the site and the funds will allow it to build and fit out a shed, upgrade the driveway and disabled parking and build new toilets for the disabled in the house.

Mr Wiltshire said the grant would not have happened without community support.

The Rotary Club of Southern Districts had the idea to form the shed, and committed $30,000 seed funding from its Maddington Sunday markets.

This helped the shed access other funding, including City of Gosnells grants totalling about $35,000 for refurbishments and equipment.

Rotary was also instrumental in forming Amaroo itself in the 1960s, Mr Wiltshire said, and Amaroo chief executive David Fenwick had been quick to volunteer Lewis House and to support the Lotterywest funding application.

All grants, donations and fundraising efforts considered, Mr Wiltshire said, the shed was now worth more than $700,000.

‘When Rotary considered this project and agreed to make a contribution, we did not in our wildest dreams believe that it would be the catalyst for such a tremendous scale of investment,’ he said.

Due to the delay in getting a workshop, committee members have had to be creative and the shed now offers an unusual mix of activities including art, model making, music, genealogy, gardening, cycling, photography, cards and board games, cooking and computer tuition.

It runs a caravanning group and operates a library of books and puzzles.

The shed has 110 members and believes numbers will double over the next year.