Months of hard work and dedication to create a vital community space came to fruition on Saturday at the opening of the Pambula Men’s Shed.
The site, which is situated in a disused community space at the Pambula District Hospital, aims to provide a place where local men can come to work on a range of activities or simply socialise.
President John Hanley was a proud member at the opening.
“Talk about the men’s shed started about 18 months to two years ago. The people on the steering committee felt that we needed something in the area to keep men occupied,” Mr Hanley said.
“A lot of guys were either on their own or unoccupied. Some played golf once a week or bowls once a week and had nothing else to do in between.
“We figured men’s sheds are pretty popular across Australia, so we’d try one here.”
Mr Hanley said the committee consulted widely as it prepared to transform the idea into reality.
“We spoke to Merimbula and Wyndham men’s sheds to see how they’d gone about doing what they’re doing,” he said.
“Our first priority was to try and find somewhere to set it up.
“NSW Health was great. They came forward and offered this building to us that was sitting vacant. I don’t know the history of the building, but we came to an agreement with NSW Health and have gone from there.”
The Pambula Men’s Shed had 45 members on its email list prior to the launch, while more joined the list on the day.
“This is just to kick-start the shed. We have a lot of work ahead of us to get the shed established,” Mr Hanley said.
“The aim is to eventually to own our own shed and it will belong to the community.”
The launch aptly coincided with Bega Valley Mental Health Month, a fact not lost on Mr Hanley.
“That’s part and parcel of what men’s sheds are all about – making sure people are mentally okay,” Mr Hanley said.
“We’ll have guest speakers to talk about mental and physical health for men.”