Shed reno makes way for new members

THIS time last year, members of the Meeniyan Men’s Shed were doubtful the extension to their existing clubroom at the Meeniyan Recreation Reserve would come to fruition, due to a funding shortfall.
Last Thursday, the extension was officially opened by Victorian Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos, much to the delight of the community.
Shed president Noel Owen said the $30,000 grant received from the State Government through the Victorian Men’s Shed Association and a $10,000 grant from the South Gippsland Shire Council were a big help to the project.
“Without the dogged determination of former president John Hattam and secretary George Fairweather, we may not have made it here today,” he said.
“We were also fortunate enough to have a lot of locals who helped us out along the way, one way or another.”
As well as Ms Mikakos, the opening was attended by South Gippsland deputy mayor Cr Aaron Brown, Cr Andrew McEwen, Victorian Men’s Shed Association president Lindsay Oates, vice president Barbara Look and secretary David Mudge.
Mr Owen said Meeniyan was only a small club, which had been operating for just over three years.
He said it has around 15 regular members, but was hopeful that number could increase now the extension was in place.
“We hope it will help us to grow and add to the dynamic community that Meeniyan is,” he said.
Prior to the extension, members had to walk around 250 metres to the nearest public toilet facility.
“An important part of the extension is the accessible toilet, which was a major thing for the group,” Mr Owen said.
Ms Look, who is also a community strengthening officer with South Gippsland Shire Council, said it was great to have a supportive team from the Department of Health and Human Services at Morwell behind the project.
“The team helped to source the funding for this project and they are a fantastic resource to have locally,” she said.
“It is not only lovely to see the practical work of the men’s shed, but also the mateship which can help combat mental health issues.”
Ms Mikakos said men’s sheds demonstrate the strength of the communities in which they operate.
“Most men’s sheds are in regional parts of the state and they really are the life and soul of those local communities,” she said.
“I am proud that we have been able to support the Meeniyan Men’s Shed and its aspiration to grow.”
Ms Mikakos said the Meeniyan shed had done remarkable work in the three years it had been running.
“It’s about giving men a chance to come together, catch up with mates and give back to the community,” she said.
“We know men are often not so good at talking about problems and getting help. The mental health and wellbeing aspect is an unspoken benefit of attending a shed,” she said.
Ms Mikakos also officially opened the Wonthaggi Woodcrafters Men’s Shed last Thursday, which had undergone significant renovations recently.
The Wonthaggi Men’s Shed has 77 members, including two award-winning woodturners, including one 94 year old.

Now open: from left, Victorian Men’s Shed Association president Lindsay Oates, Meeniyan shedder Scott McFadden, Victorian Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos, Meeniyan shedders Tony Kelly and Rod McConchie and Meeniyan president Noel Owen, front, were excited to see the extension of the Meeniyan Men’s Shed officially opened last Thursday.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=25304

Posted by on Jul 3 2018. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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