HEALTHY OUTLOOK: Clermont Men's Shed members cultivating plants to raise money at the local markets.
HEALTHY OUTLOOK: Clermont Men's Shed members cultivating plants to raise money at the local markets.

Men’s group throws a lifeline to blokes needing support

IT’S a place to get creative, learn new skills, interact with other blokes from all walks of life and it’s preparing to reopen.

Men’s Shed is a place for friendship, developing a sense of purpose and has brought men back from rock bottom.

Kev Burns has been part of the Clermont Men’s Shed for about six years and, through that time, has crossed paths with men facing a range of issues.

“Coming from a farming background, you learn to do everything yourself. You work alone and all my life I’ve done that,” he said.

“At the shed you have other blokes come and help you. You all help each other.

“It really brings back the mateship.”

A Men’s Shed spokesman said, unlike women, most men were reluctant to talk about their emotions and that meant they usually wouldn’t ask for help.

But the groups across Australia have created a safe and welcoming environment for men to chat and share what they’re going through.

“One bloke was right down in the dirt before he came to the shed, and we more or less saved his life,” Mr Burns said.

“If you’re feeling down in the dumps, someone here will have a yarn to you and see how we can help.”

The Clermont group has about 30 members, with ages ranging from about 40 to 80.

The group is highlighting the importance of supporting each other in line with Men’s Health Week, which runs from June 15 to 21.

Prior to coronavirus restrictions, men would gather multiple times a week and chat over working in the garden, the nursery, small motors, lawnmowers, wood work, metal work and more.

“It’s just to get them out of the house and get talking,” Mr Burns said.

“If the shed wasn’t here, I could point to half the blokes that wouldn’t have a social life at all.”

He said the facility was a great way to maintain men’s mental and physical health, through interacting with others and getting on the tools.

Mr Burns said the shed was a safe haven for men of all ages, who always left with “mates for life”.

Alpha Men’s Shed president John Nicholson said he loved the comradeship and working together to build different items for community members.

“It helps physically, fixing up furniture and different bits and pieces and when the weather is right we play bowls in front of the shed,” he said.

“We all get together and enjoy each other’s company.”

Men’s Sheds across the country are getting ready to hit the tools as restrictions ease. Visit the website to locate your closest group.


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