After months of exciting build-up, the big moment arrived last Sunday.
In front of a large gathering of friends, supporters, sponsors and politicians, Coolum Men’s Shed opened.
It’s been said that through unity comes strength, and there’s living proof of that at this shed. Across the coast and around the country, Men's Sheds are now established as part of the health infrastructure that supports programs to improve men's health and well-being.
Positioned on Research Street in the Coolum Eco Industrial Park off Coolum-Yandina Road, the Coolum Men’s Shed cost in excess of $250,000 including fitout, and is the result of five years of dedicated work by its members, and support from Council grants, State and Federal Government grants, and local businesses.
Membership steadily rose as the shed was being built, and now stands at 60 members. President, Russell Lunn said things started getting serious in 2015 when they were granted the lease on land in the industrial estate.
“We have enjoyed tremendous support through significant and consistent fundraising by our dedicated members. Major sponsors such as Sunshine Coast Council and the Marcoola Community Bank Branch of the Bendigo Bank have been with us every step of the way. Local businesses helped with landfill, construction materials, cabinet making, electrical work, tiling, air conditioning, security lighting, and fire and safety equipment fitout. It’s been an amazing journey so far, and now we’re open the fun work begins,” Russell said.
“We see great opportunity for the Coolum community in the new shed. Now we’re able to work freely in this structure, membership will increase and skills will be attracted in diverse areas. For example metalworking, leatherwork, stained glass, jewellery-making, or musical instrument manufacturing. Additionally, forums and workshops will provide a platform to improve and sustain physical and mental health of men, and to develop life skills and knowledge in areas such as computing, internet skills, even cooking and home care,” he added.
It’s felt that Australia’s 1,000 Men’s Sheds and more than 150,000 members have helped prevent an estimated 1,500 suicides a year.
“Men don’t want to talk about problems as much,” Russell shared.
“Generally, we don’t make a friend of a GP until we’re in our 30’s and while Men’s Shed members are mostly retirees, younger men had started to come along. There’s always a great atmosphere amongst the group,” he concluded.
The shed is open three days a week Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9.00am - 3.00pm. Every Friday there’s a social BBQ lunch. If you would like to know more, call Russell on 0418 754 798, or email: email@example.com. Anyone is welcome to stop by and have a chat.