There is a sense of calm and reassurance that comes with that little bit of space.
The average Australian bloke is pretty comfortable in the shed. Whether they’re alone or with a bunch of mates, busy with a job or just sitting and relaxing, there is a sense of calm and reassurance that comes with that little bit of space outside the main house.
Now, if you wanted to set up a social program to help men remain active, get out of the living room and interact with others – you’d want to make it as comfortable and reassuring as possible, wouldn’t you?
What if you decided to make the meeting space for this program feel like you’re back in the shed? Better yet, what if it actually was a shed? I think you can see where this is heading. Currently, there are two organisations in Australia that aim to do exactly that: provide a space where men can chat to old mates or make new ones, put their practical skills to the test, or simply take a break from the daily routine.
The Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) and Mensheds Australia are both not-for-profit organisations that started independently from each other, but their existence just goes to show how valuable the concept of a men’s shed really is – in fact, it’s starting to become a bit of an Australian phenomenon. The two organisations boast more than 550 registered sheds between them and are quickly evolving as general interest grows.
While this is a way for men to contribute to their community through volunteering and mentoring, the sheds are also an avenue to access health information and advice in a way that isn’t as confronting as making a doctor’s appointment – after all, deep and meaningful conversations about health problems don’t come naturally to most men.
“It wasn’t until 2007 that the men’s shed movement started to gain momentum. Our founding belief was to share information between communities that wanted to establish one,” AMSA chief executive officer David Helmers explains.
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