THE final stages of the new Mundaring Community Men’s Shed’s premises have begun as the organisation receives a grant for more than $265,000 from Lotterywest.
The grant will allow the group to finish fitting out its new 6500sqm state-of-the-art complex project which began in 2017 and is located barely 1km away from the current Jacoby Street premises.
The final fit out will include air conditioning units, shelving, power and lighting for the already finished structures.
The new Morilla Road complex dwarfs the 900sqm Jacoby Street premises with standalone woodwork and metal workshops, club rooms, a library, main hall and gallery, in what is set to become one of the largest men’s sheds in the country.
Shed secretary Ross Boughton said the aim of the new complex is to encourage a wider range of people to come down and use the space, and ultimately help more people.
The group had boasted as many as 120 members only a couple of years ago, but recently has dropped to 87.
“We lost a lot of people during Covid, we’ve also lost a few people waiting for this to happen,” Mr Boughton said.
“It’s a relief, we’ve had the odd times where we’ve thought this is never going to happen, and I’m never going to live to see this.”
He said the purpose of men’s sheds are to address the problem men often face in opening up and talking about what is affecting them.
“One of the things about having a men’s shed is that they work shoulder to shoulder, and they talk to their colleagues.
“We’ve had two suicides in the last three years from our members that we didn’t manage to stop.
“The idea of the men’s shed is to be a health place but also a social place where people come together, and they can talk.
“The one demographic we really want to focus on is the 25 – 40s, they’re the ones flat out with work, trying to look after a family, trying to pay the mortgage, trying to do all sorts of things, and they’re the people who if they need help go and drink at the pub.”
In addition to the Lotterywest grant, the group has previously received significant funding from federal, state, and local government bringing the total cost of the new complex to over $1.3m.
The bulk of the funding was from the federal government’s community development grants program to the tune of $900,000, originally committed by former Hasluck MP Ken Wyatt as an election promise.
The new complex will allow for extended opening hours, additional visitors, community group access and encourage people to share common interests, develop new skills, while reducing social isolation and improving mental health and wellbeing.
According to the Australian Men’s Shed Association there are more than 50,000 men who participate in over 1200 men’s sheds across the country.