Magnetic Island North Queensland
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February 5th 2012
Men's Shed meeting leads to working group

Islanders meet to discuss the Men's Shed It's attracted lots of interest and quite a few comments from across the community already and now Magnetic Times is pleased to provide this following update on the formation of a Men's Shed on Magnetic Island. The article was kindly provided by Magnetic Island Community Care Coordinator, Kim Pierce

The inaugural meeting of the Magnetic Island Menís Shed was held on Wednesday 1st February at the Community Care centre in Horseshoe Bay.

The meeting was well attended with 35 attendees. The organisers were delighted with the turnout saying that it showed that there is a real interest and demand for the Island to have its very own Shed. Special guests, including Councillors Vern Veitch and Trevor Roberts, Rotary President Kay Finn, Solar Cityís Julie Heath and Upper Ross PCYC Menís Shed coordinator Peter Gibbs.

It was stated that the purpose of the meeting was to advise what has been done so far and to form a small working group to turn the idea of an Island Shed into a reality. Kim emphasised that the Shed will be open to the wider Magnetic Island community and that it is not a Community Care activity; rather it is a community project with Community Care patronage. Trevor Roberts reiterated that the support provided by Community Care in establishing the Shed will be invaluable.

Cr Vern Veitch spoke and mentioned that Townsville is lagging a bit behind other areas with only one operational shed in the area at the Upper Ross PCYC, and another on the way at Gill Park. He indicated that this is the perfect time for the Island to be establishing its own Shed and that the Townsville Council is happy to give the project any support and assistance needed. The participants of the meeting were all impressed with Cr Veitchís obvious passion and support for the Menísí Shed concept and his offer of assistance. Cr Trevor Roberts added his support and spoke of the real benefits to men of all ages and backgrounds in terms of menís health.

Peter Gibbs from the newly formed Upper Ross PCYC Menís Shed also spoke about his experiences in getting a shed up and running and also about the benefits that he has experienced in being involved with a group of men at his shed.

The main purpose of a shed is to offer men a place to engage with hands on activities and to interact with other men and by doing so to develop a sense of meaning and value around the process of completing projects in the shed. Through shared experiences in the shed, members make friends, build a network of emotional support and develop a sense of belonging Ė all of which facilitate willingness to communicate, often uncommon in men. The health and wellbeing aspect of the Sheds, particularly in terms of preventative health is perhaps the greatest benefit.

The shed also provides an environment where productivity and being of value to his community can contribute to a manís feeling of self-worth and help to develop a sense of meaning and productivity particularly for those who may not have employment or in the years following retirement, loss or other hardship.

Chris McGuinn called for a show of hands of willing volunteers which resulted in the formation of the Magnetic Island Menís Shed working group. The group is next meeting on 9 February to discuss the next step of identifying a suitable location. The group would be interested in hearing from anyone with town planning experience who may be able to assist with the submission of a Material Change of Use application to Council. Please phone Magnetic Island Community Care on 47581506 if you can assist with this.

Kim Pierce

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

Men's Shed meeting leads to working group
Alan Patterson
February 7th 2012
What a great effort from all those involved. The health benefits for men & women involved will have a positive effect in this community as it has in others nationwide. Best wishes keeping the momentum going forward!
April 20th 2012
Is their any kind of women's support group on the island? I have been looking online but have not found anything yet.

What do you think? Send us your comments.

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