Women venture into the shed

Lyn Haast, Ja-On Park and Alicia Edwards get into potting plants. Picture: Emma Reeves www.communitypix.com.au d419036
Lyn Haast, Ja-On Park and Alicia Edwards get into potting plants. Picture: Emma Reeves www.communitypix.com.au d419036

MERRIWA’S Addison Park clubrooms were abuzz recently as the new North Coastal Women’s Shed swung into action.

About 10 women enjoyed a Bunnings horticultural talk, Ngala’s presentation on children’s healthy eating, ukulele music and a shared lunch.

As the fledgling group grows, so too will the range of activities.

Members will share ‘crafty’ skills and committee member Ja-On Park hopes the shed will become an information resource about local services.

Mrs Park said they were also working towards taking over the Yanchep community garden as a Wednesday morning project.

The Women’s Shed concept is akin to the well-established Men’s Sheds: to provide activities and a social outlet to improve users’ wellbeing.

Community-minded Mrs Park hopes women of all ages and nationalities, particularly those who feel isolated, will join the fun.

‘I was a scientist who travelled the world for conferences before I had my two children and my world became 500sq m,’ she said.

‘If I’m not able to get to playgroup, I am stuck at home and so I needed somewhere where I could go with my children.

‘The Women’s Shed is for young mums through to grandmothers.

‘There are already playgroups and a group for seniors but this will provide for women of all ages to learn new skills.’

Mrs Park said she had thought about the concept for a long time before last year’s Imagine Merriwa think-tank where the idea took off.

She is also behind a free children’s tutoring centre in Clarkson on Wednesday afternoons, which needs more volunteers.

The shed is open on Tuesdays, 9am to 3pm, at the clubrooms off Baltimore Parade.

Organisers will add Monday openings from July 1 and ultimately hope to operate five days a week. Call Ja-On on 0422 122 012.