Construction began last week on the Hughes Men’s Shed, which is set to be the first of its kind servicing the Woden community.
COTA ACT CEO Jenny Mobbs said turning the first sod has been four and a half years in the making.
“Working with Woden Community Services, they wanted a Men’s Shed at the time. A couple of their staff members and I visited nearly every empty site in Woden.
“We couldn’t find anything except for this block of land, and in the end ACT Property Group came and had a look and said ‘this will be ideal’.
Ms Mobbs said being next to the Hughes Community Centre is advantageous as it has a number of necessary services and a high number of seniors regularly passing through; all the hallmarks of a symbiotic relationship.
“Men’s sheds are very good at sharing tools, utensils, equipment and so forth.
“Being the sort of place that COTA (Council on the Ageing) is, a lot of people when their husband passes on for example, they leave behind a workshop full of tools, and we’re hoping to get lots of donations.”
ACT Minister for Seniors and Veterans Gordon Ramsay said at the sod turning that Men’s Sheds, of which there are 32 in the Canberra region, do a lot to build community.
“They build strength of support for each other; build a sense of camaraderie, a sense of mateship.”
A member of the Melba Men’s Shed, Mr Ramsay said the sheds provide an invaluable outlet and support network for the men who need it.
“Men deal with things as men deal with things, so it’s good for us to have particular ways of working through, and making sure we’re able to support one another.
“If you want to speak to a guy about something or other, you stand next to them rather than in front of them. They work alongside each other and talk while they’re doing something else.”
Construction of the shed will take approximately three months. In the meantime, a committee will be established to run Hughes Men’s Shed once it’s complete.