Men at work

IT was business as usual for Balaklava men yesterday after the doors of the community’s Neighbourhood/Men’s Shed reopened.

Earlier this month, the Shed went into recess, with discussions taking place between concerned shed members and Wakefield Regional Council (WRC) about governance issues and dwindling numbers.

A public meeting, facilitated by WRC, was held on Monday to allow community members the opportunity to ‘have a say’ about the direction of the shed and float ideas to ‘revitalise’ it and attract newcomers.

“It was a positive meeting, and it was very clear there is a need and desire for a Men’s Shed in the town, and council is very happy for the running of the shed to be back in the community’s hands,” Kelly Westell, WRC director community and corporate services, said.

“The current members were keen to get back in the shed, and there were quite a few new faces at the meeting, so it’s a great opportunity to move forward.”

Robby Hill of Owen Community Shed, also spoke on the importance of Men’s Sheds, ‘lessons learned’ and how the Owen shed provides separate men’s and community days at the shed.

Shed committee chairman, Graham Lawrie, was very pleased with the turnout at the public meeting, and said the general consensus, from both men and women present, was the shed return to a Men’s Shed.

“When it began more than 10 years ago, it seemed right to open it up to the wider community, however the feeling now is men need just a Men’s Shed,” he said.

Long-time supporter and member of the Shed, Helen Pinkatshek, also said the turnout at the meeting was very positive.

However due to ill health, Helen is unable to continue her involvement, so is encouraging others to step up and help Graham and the members keep the shed operating.

“We opened our doors again yesterday and have some new people interested in finding out what it’s all about,” Graham said.

“We will need help from new members to join the executive committee, plus help with online/digital promotion and updates, and we hope to visit the Owen Shed in the next week or so, to see how things are working

“We are looking forward to building a positive future.”

If you would like to join the Men’s Shed in Balaklava, please contact Graham on 8863 1298.