Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Men Find Answers in Sheds

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Men Find Answers in Sheds

Article excerpt

IT'S not only sanders and saws buzzing at the Coffs Harbour Men's Shed, the whole shed is buzzing with activity.

The only place busier is Santa's workshop and even the guy in the red suit has trusted the amen in the sheda to build his new sleigh.

With the smell of sawdust in the air, possum boxes are being made for WIRES, finishing touches are being put to wooden teaching aids and there's noise and industrious activity in every corner of this large shed.

But the one thing louder than the sound of power tools is the sound of laughter and conversation because the Coffs Harbour Men's Shed is as much a place to meet as it is to work.

It is part of the community-based Men's Sheds concept that has sprung up in towns nationwide that aims to foster mateship, overcome isolation and loneliness, pass on technical and traditional skills, help the disadvantaged and the community and promote men's health and well-being.

The Coffs Harbour Men's Shed opened its doors in March under the guidance of manager and qualified builder, Peter Murphy.

"When people ask me about the shed I tell them, a[approximately]once you step foot in the door a thousand questions will be answered'," Peter said.

"It's open to men of all ages and skills and is obligation free, come in when you want, stay as long as you want and do as little or as much as you want. The social function is more important than the production."

Since the doors opened earlier this year a steady stream of faces at the shed has ensured a great mix of men and skills. Men can work on community projects or their own projects (there is a small charge involved for timber when you make your own project).

"We've got guys who can fix or make almost anything and we've got guys who are just learning how to work with wood and tools, between us I reckon we could fix or build just about anything. …

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