There’s a shed in Rutherglen where the conversation between men flows and they feel safe to share their thoughts while using tools to build items for the community.
That special place is Indigo North Health’s Men’s Shed.
Its continued growth has resulted in its members outgrowing the current location behind Indigo North Health’s ‘Glenview’ property in Rutherglen.
Men’s Shed President Ern Walder said the group has 20 members on its books and anywhere between 10 and 15 members show up every Thursday when the group meet between 8.30am and 1.30pm.
There’s no project too big or too small for the men but when it comes to size, they do need a larger shed to continue their work.
“We have been here for seven years but it’s just too small now, so we need to investigate a bigger site,” Mr Walder said.
“We need a bigger shed or a bigger site to build a shed on and we are open to all options.”
Mr Walder said the group is also on the search for a shipping container for storage of materials and finished products.
“We have a site to put it, but we desperately need to beg, borrow or steal one,” he said.
“When we get some nice timber we just need to put it inside somewhere to look after it and that shipping container will come with us when we go to our new shed when we find a new place.”
Step inside the shed and you will see smiles and hear plenty of laughter as the men – the youngest 49 and oldest 83 - carry on with projects while chatting amongst each other.
“It’s a big factor in men’s health, they can come along and have a chat and do wood work or metal work if it is required and get out of the kitchen from underneath the wife’s feet,” Mr Walder said.
“It’s open to anyone, you don’t have to be retired to come here.”
The men make a range of children’s toys – trains, carts and trucks, some of which are for sale and others have been donated to organisations in the town.
The group has been involved in a range of community projects including building mobile book boxes for the ‘Early Reading is Fun’ program located in shops around Rutherglen.
They have also built seats for the Rutherglen Park, produced child-sized cut out figures and a new ‘sign in’ desk for the Rutherglen Kindergarten and constructed a large blackboard for the Rutherglen Playgroup.
While the group meet once a week on Thursdays, they are looking to soon open two days a week.
Members enjoy both morning tea and lunch during their get together.
The group recently received a life-saving piece of equipment to keep on hand - a defibrillator.
The defibrillator was donated to the group by the Victorian Men’s Shed Association.
“It’s great for peace of mind to have this life-saving piece of equipment here because there could be a time when it is needed,” Mr Walder said.
Anyone interested in joining the group or who can help the men out with a new location can call Ern Walder on 0409 554 762 or the co-ordinators of the men’s shed who are Ken Dean on 0407 721 714 or Ted Shanks on 0417 588 810.