Shed group dedicated to making life better for all

Headshot of Nicolette Barbas
Nicolette BarbasSouth Western Times
The Leschenault Men’s Shed members are grateful for the camaraderie they share at the shed each day.
Camera IconThe Leschenault Men’s Shed members are grateful for the camaraderie they share at the shed each day. Credit: Nicolette Barbas

The Oxford Dictionary defines a shed as a simple roofed structure used for storage, to shelter animals or as a workshop.

But for thousands of men around the country, including Australian Men’s Shed WA director and Leschenault Men’s Shed interim secretary, Bob Jenkins, a shed is much more.

“In 2005 after a very busy working life and a fair bit of travelling I retired,” Mr Jenkins said.

“It wasn’t until around 2010 that I realised having lost my work contacts, my world was shrinking.

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“I knew the fellow from the Bunbury Rotary Club, who was one of the drivers behind the Men’s Shed organisation, and when I went out to see what they were doing it opened my eyes to a whole new world.”

Mr Jenkins said the main focus for the organisation is and always has been on men’s wellbeing.

“One day I was talking to a fellow doing some work on the tools who told me this shed had saved his life,” Mr Jenkins said.

“A comment like that outlines how important Men’s Sheds are.

“They’re a recreational place for blokes who can drop in whenever they like, interact, learn, build and have a bit of camaraderie with one another, and as a result their mental health is enhanced.”

With close to 100 members at the Leschenault Shed, Mr Jenkins was thankful for the support the Harvey Shire Council has offered.

“About 69 per cent of sheds around Australia don’t believe they have enough room to cope with future expansion which shows the membership is growing each year,” he said.

“We’ve got about 97 members and have maintained that number for the last four years and the Shire of Harvey knows how we do it and why we do it and we are lucky enough to be expanding soon.

“Every cent we need to run this shed we make ourselves and we also have a charitable program and if the cause is good we will do it for nothing or at very low cost.

“At the end of the day we are here for the community and to support men’s mental health.”

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