Cockburn Community Men’s Shed will be open to all

29MAY2018
As the name states, Cockburn Community Men’s Shed will welcome all sections of the community, embracing inclusivity and diversity in all it does.

The organisation’s new purpose-built base will officially open in Cockburn Central on 13 June after more than six years in the making.

Three men who couldn‘t be more pleased or proud are its inaugural 2013 chairman Mike Manning, current chairman Peter Hodgson and men’s shed advocate and current treasurer Geoff Webb, who helped establish the project’s vital partnership with the Rotary Club of Cockburn.

The City of Cockburn received resounding support for a local men’s shed in response to a 2012 feasibility study, followed by a successful approach to the Rotary Club of Cockburn which agreed to partner in the project’s establishment.

The shed’s first home was in the old SES building in Wattleup and the plan to provide a permanent base will soon come to fruition, with the finishing touches underway at 2 Sullivan Road, Cockburn Central.

A former member of WA’s oldest shed – Fremantle Men’s Shed – Mr Manning (76) said he needed somewhere to use his creative skills that included wood and metal work.

“I retired at 70 and my wife said to me ‘you are not going to sleep in that chair all day’, and now she has to make an appointment to see me,” the former designer and builder said.

“And I can be a good listener. It’s great to have a safe space for men to come and talk about their issues.”

Mr Hodgson (63), a long-standing Rotarian, became chairman in April 2017 and has put project and change management skills honed during his professional life to good use as the men’s shed transitioned to its permanent home.

“I’d always intended to join a men’s shed because although I don’t have any artistic skills, I like pottering about with various projects,” Mr Hodgson said.

“But what I really like about the objective is that men’s sheds foster, maintain and promote men’s physical and mental health and wellbeing.

“Often men don’t want to be publicly talking about themselves and there is no pressure to lay on a couch and pour their heart out, here. But when they are ready to talk to another bloke in blokey language, a men’s shed is a good place for that.”

As a former Rotary Club of Bunbury member, Mr Webb (67) helped establish the Leschenault Men’s Shed and was keen to use his experience to help Cockburn’s come to fruition.

“It’s been a huge effort to get the shed where it is today, and hats off to the City of Cockburn for all their support,” Mr Webb said.

“We have more than 50 members and look forward to doubling that now we have a dedicated facility.
“It will be a real community venue and there will be a community garden with involvement from many other community groups.

“We plan to hire out the space to generate income and hope to hold community seminars about health and other topics of interest.”

A successful grant application to Lotterywest netted $484,200 on 1 May 2016 and the City of Cockburn has provided $687,590 plus in-kind project management costs and the land on which is sits.

The shed will be open to people aged 18 years and over, or younger if accompanied by a member.
For more information about Cockburn Community Men’s Shed visit here or email here.  

Picture caption: Men's Shed chairman Peter Hodgson, Treasurer Geoff Webb and inaugural chairman Mike Manning.
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