Men’s sheds to receive funding boost

Yanchep Community Men's Shed members. Picture: Matt Jelonek www.communitypix.com.au d493078
Yanchep Community Men's Shed members. Picture: Matt Jelonek www.communitypix.com.au d493078

THREE men’s sheds that promote wellbeing among older men are set to get funding support to establish their bases.

Wanneroo Council adopted its Community Shed Policy on August 27, which will include an establishment fund of $135,000 over three years to be shared between three sheds.

Yanchep Community Men’s Shed (YCMS) chairman Malcolm Gow gave a deputation prior to the meeting asking that the City provide $25,000 in the first year so the group could lease a bigger premises, with rent expected to cost $30,000 a year.

Mr Gow said over the past three years, the men’s shed had become a place for men to make friendships, enjoy camaraderie and produce goods for the general community, including cray pots.

Items made at the Shed for sale

Posted by Yanchep Community Men's Shed on Tuesday, 18 June 2019

However he said the premises they leased in Yanchep was too small to allow membership to grow, limiting their ability to increase production and therefore income.

“We will have to pay commercial rent on a much larger premises (in order) to be realistically self-sustainable,” he said.

The policy proposed that the Yanchep, Quinns and Northern Suburbs men’s sheds each receive $15,000 a year for three years to help cover costs of buying, building, renting or extending a facility.

However, in response to the deputation Mayor Tracey Roberts successfully moved an amendment to offer flexibility with the funding allocations.

YCMS welfare officer Lou Dorsa said the group started with eight members in 2016 and now had 28 members.

“Currently we are restricted in increasing our membership due to the small premises,” he said.

Mr Dorsa said it provided a private environment for men to talk about mental and physical health problems.

“We encourage the men to come and join the shed and see what a few hours at the shed will do for their health and well-being,” he said.

The Yanchep resident said he had made lifelong friends through the shed, and men did not have to do woodwork to be members.

“They can just sit and enjoy the company of our members,” he said.

Deputy Mayor Natalie Sangalli said sheds were important for mental health and well-being among older citizens and promoted inclusivity.

Cr Sangalli acknowledged it had been a long process, and praised shed members for their persistence.

The council report said City staff supported leasing a City-owned shed at Gumblossom Park to Quinns Men’s Shed, which it would subsidise.

In response to feedback received during consultation, wording in the policy was changed to say that the City would support up to three sheds on City-managed land.

At the Two Rocks Yanchep Residents Association meeting on August 26, YCMS secretary Anne Purdy said the shed was open to all men aged 18 and older and had a great sense of camaraderie.

She said it also held ladies DIY sessions on some Saturdays, where women could learn to use tools.

Shed appeals for bigger premises

Focus on men’s health and wellbeing