LET'S CHAT: Men's Shed president Ian Jones is one of about 60 blokes who get together each week to have a laugh, share some jokes and use their skills to craft items like these wooden trains.
LET'S CHAT: Men's Shed president Ian Jones is one of about 60 blokes who get together each week to have a laugh, share some jokes and use their skills to craft items like these wooden trains. kerrie alexander

Men's Shed time helps boost health

MEMBERS of the Hervey Bay Men's Shed will be out in force on Saturday, August 25 to prove that older blokes can still cut the mustard when it comes to tackling hands-on projects.

About a dozen members, predominately in their 60s and 70s, will be sharing their wealth of knowledge with the community at a special demonstration in the Bunnings Hervey Bay carpark.

Men's Shed president Ian Jones said members would be demonstrating their skills on the scroll saw and drill, assembling wooden handmade toys and crafting pens from local timber on the wood lathe.

"We want to demonstrate to people that just because we are in our 70s we are not on the scrapheap," Mr Jones said.

"We have a huge amount of talent amongst the people in the Men's Shed and there's a lot we have to give.

"We have all this knowledge and all these skills. If anyone wants to learn from us, we can teach them."

Mr Jones said the demonstration would help share with the community just how important the not-for-profit organisation is for local men of any age, who are at risk of loneliness and depression, or just retirees who have extra time on their hands.

He said the members meet each Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8am-noon at the Nikenbah sheds, to tinker with projects, form friendships and use laughter as their medicine.

"I can safely say that, in the time that I've been with the Men's Shed, which is close on five years, there have been occasions with people that I reckon this has saved their lives," he said.

"There are many men who have been very depressed and just miserable.

"There was a man who came along last week because he was sick of being depressed and wanted to get out and moving amongst people.

"He's down the back right now, doing things and making things and he's got a smile on his face."

Mr Jones said it was just like giving the blokes back their "man cave".

They are a talented bunch of people like retired welders, engineers, sheet metal workers, leather workers and more, all lending a hand to craft and sell goods to keep the organisation running.

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"That's what drives you to keep doing this," Mr Jones said.

"You know you're doing good, you know you're helping people and you know that there is nothing else like the Men's Shed.

"It gives the man who used to have a backyard and shed, and now doesn't have one because he's living in a unit or something like that, it gives him back his shed - his place where he can come along, sit and talk and do things and fiddle around and feel valued."

Mr Jones said special thanks must go to Bunnings for providing a platform to highlight what the group was about.

"We are forever grateful for this opportunity to demonstrate what we do and how we do it."

The event will be held on Saturday, August 25, from 9am-noon at the Boat Harbour Dr store.

To find out more, head down to the free event and have a chat to the members or phone Mr Jones on 0417347721.

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