The new community shed in Hughes has officially opened and is ready for participants to take over, with the shed committee meeting to plan future projects and activities.
The shed is sponsored by Council on the Ageing (COTA) ACT, however local residents will determine the programs that take place in the new facilities.
COTA ACT’s CEO, Jenny Mobbs, said while the shed was initially intended to be named as a Men’s Shed, it was renamed after consultation with the community to broaden the definition for those wanting to use the facilities.
“Having a community shed gives people the opportunity to get out, meet people, discuss how they are feeling and getting on,” Ms Mobbs said.
“We will run regular workshops and information sessions directed towards men’s and women’s health so they can learn about the importance of maintaining a long and healthy life.”
Ms Mobbs said while the facilities have been named the Hughes Community Shed and opened up to the broader community in the area, it won’t take away from the Men’s Shed philosophy with the shed committee to organise ‘men’s only shed time’.
She said Men’s Sheds have proven to be an oasis for senior men in particular, and the premise of Men’s Sheds across Australia “prevails here too”.
“The use of health services, especially associated with preventative health, is lower among men than women.
“Men are less likely than women to access health services and are more likely to delay seeking health services. Studies have shown that social isolation increases the risk for changes in emotional and physical health and that social isolation is more common in older people,” she said.
Construction began on the new facilities in March this year, after a report found at the time there were no Men’s Shed facilities in the Woden area.
For more information on the Hughes Community Shed and ongoing activities, contact COTA ACT on 6282 3777.