DROUIN // WORK has begun on enlarging the Drouin Men’s Shed shed after a successful fundraiser on the weekend.
The shed has been open to all men over the age of 18 since mid-2012. Many are familiar with the group’s volunteer work in the community and wood working handywork, but it also serves a larger purpose.
“Anything a man wants to do in the shed, they can do,” secretary David Mudge told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen. The shed is equipped with wood working and modelling tools, tech and a social area.
“There’s a very large social group which comes in and chats over tea and coffee. Basically we boost one another because you have guys who have come in with depression or anxiety or whatever it may be, and by being in the shed together and just talking, on a health basis, helps them pick themselves up again and improve.
“We have several guys we believe we have saved from suicide because they now have a reason to live.”
That is a big achievement for the group, and Mr Mudge puts it down to taking men out of their isolated sheds at home.
“This shed now is taking those people out of the shed where they were on their own, where they still had their depression and anxiety,” he said.
“By coming into an organisation like this, they’re with a group of men where they can talk together and help each other and help overcome the problems they have had.
“Men don’t talk about their own issues. You send a man to a doctor, he won’t tell the doctor everything. But you bring a group of men together and they’ll start talking – ‘oh, you’ve got that problem. Well I’ve got this problem too.’ Then they start to bounce off each other and doing that actually picks them up.”
On Sunday Men’s Shed members ran a fundraiser to contribute to a planned $50,000 expansion of their shed. The expansion will add a 7.5 metre by 18 metre area to the present shed, located at the Drouin Golf Club.
“It’s going to change the whole dimension of the shed, Mr Mudge said.
“We’re going to move all our machinery out into the new section so it quietens the social area down. It will give us a larger meeting area for the quiet side of us and also allows us to bring in a sheet metal shop and a paint shop.
“Hopefully by February we will have the new section up.”
The group has a membership of 100, largely from Drouin, Warragul and Longwarry, but the fundraiser market and open day attracted people from the city as well as locals.
“We’ve had an excellent day. Figures are better than last year’s and the crowd was a heck of a lot better,” Mr Mudge said.
“I couldn’t count how many people came through, I have no idea. I sat at the table looking after the finances and people were just streaming in non-stop from the moment we opened up.
“Our sausage sizzle was extremely successful, which it always is,” he added with pride.
“We have a reputation of having an extremely good sausage sizzle so we do a lot of them around the district and we always sell a hell of a lot.”
While the weekend’s fundraiser was successful, it did not raise all the money required for the full expansion project. Mr Mudge said the Men’s Shed was seeking donaions from the public to help cover the shortfall.
Mr Mudge added that the Men’s Shed is always looking for new members and anyone can join, no matter their skills. For those interested in using machinery, training on safe operation is provided.
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