Men’s sheds to expand on vital work


Fremantle Men’s Community Shed’s Alan Gowland, Tony Simpson, Bill Johnstone, Mike Wiggin and Mayor Brad Pettitt.
Fremantle Men’s Community Shed’s Alan Gowland, Tony Simpson, Bill Johnstone, Mike Wiggin and Mayor Brad Pettitt.

But, according to WA Men’s Shed Association president Mike Wiggin, the change crept up on them.

“The Men’s Shed movement was originally driven largely by the need for older men to have a place that catered to their needs, a place to meet with other men and to work together in their own way and at their own pace,” he said.

“The real work of the movement – developing and nurturing the men’s social networks, physical and mental health – happened almost by stealth.”

Now expanded to 55 sheds across the metropolitan area, WAMSA will be able to continue improving its programs after Community Services Minister Tony Simpson last week visited the Fremantle Men’s Community Shed to announce a funding boost of $225,000.

The funding will help WAMSA continue to run its programs and help with its transition into a self-funded organisation.

Mr Simpson said WAMSA had a proven track record of helping men connect with each other and the wider community.

“The modern Men’s Shed gives them an opportunity to get involved in social activities in a friendly, non-judgmental environment,” he said.

The funding announcement is the latest in a run of good news for the Fremantle Men’s Community Shed, which is preparing to move to a new shed in Hilton, after 10 years in White Gum Valley.

Fremantle Men’s Community Shed president Bill Johnstone said the funding would assist with ongoing projects involving not just local men, but also school groups, refugees and those with mental health issues.

“The emphasis is on creating an awareness of the valuable role Sheds have and making them even more accessible to the community,” he said.

“It’s a great time to be in shed-land.”