Shed helps men build new friendships

Published 5:00am 27 May 2024

Shed helps men build new friendships
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

Inside the Samford Area Men’s Shed it’s not just furniture or toys that are being built, but also new friendships.

Established 11 years ago, the shed is an inclusive space where men of all ages can meet other like-minded people, swap stories, share a few laughs, pursue their hobbies and learn new skills.

One bloke who loves spending his days at the shed is Gary Podger, who joined more than five years ago. He’s also been the shed’s woodworking coordinator for two years.

“After I retired, I slowly lost contact with a lot of people I used to work with, which happens because everyone is doing different things at that stage of their life,” Gary says.

“But the guys I have met here, they have become good mates who I see a couple of days a week.

“The great thing about our shed is everyone brings something unique. We have guys from all different walks of life and backgrounds who can share their experiences and skills.

“We have around 130 members, and the vibe at the shed is always a positive one because everyone is friendly, we get along well, and we help one another.

“We know some people have worked with tools all their lives and others are new to it, but everyone pitches in and shares what they know to help the others learn.”

As part of his role as woodworking coordinator, it is important to Gary that everyone who attends the shed feels comfortable and welcome.

The shed recently completed some upgrades where more benches and work spaces were installed, as well as personal drawers for members to store their gear and equipment.

While at the shed members work on their own projects, but sometimes they get special requests from the community.

“We often get approached by members of the public who ask if we can help them fix things like broken furniture,” Gary says.

“We also help the local schools and kindergartens. One of them had some puzzles that had missing or broken pieces, and we made some new pieces so the kids could continue playing with them.”

Members who use the metalwork shed also make customized mailboxes using gas cylinders.

The shed is open to any male who would like to join, regardless of whether they are still working or retired.

In addition to working in the shed, members also get together to raise money by hosting barbecues at Bunnings, as well as enjoying a few rounds of golf.

To see more pictures, click through the gallery below. 

Pictures taken by Dominika Lis. 

Details

The Samford Area Men’s Shed is located at the Samford Showgrounds, 38 Showgrounds Dr, Highvale.

For more information, follow them on Facebook or visit the website.

A vital tool for men’s health

The very first Men’s Shed opened in South Australia in February 1993.

The aim of a Men’s Shed is to provide a space where blokes can discuss issues affecting their lives, receive vital health information, and work on meaningful projects.

Currently, there are more than 1200 Men’s Sheds across Australia - that’s more Men’s Sheds than McDonald’s restaurants!

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