Members of the Romsey Men’s Shed are seeking a permanent or long term location for its members to meet.
The Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) supports almost 1000 Men’s Sheds throughout the country to help men to be valued and productive members of the community.
Members of Men’s Sheds come from all walks of life – what unites them is they are men with time on their hands and would like to do something meaningful.
Romsey Men’s Shed President Steve Goodman organised a meeting last May to gage levels of interest in the Romsey community.
“There was an official meeting down at the Romsey Hub where there were 70, maybe 80 people. It was the biggest meeting I’ve seen for whatever reason in Romsey,” Mr Goodman said.
“Fortunately, there were local politicians there, like [Member for Macedon] Mary-Anne Thomas who showed incredible support for the initiative.”
Romsey Men’s Shed Secretary Patrick Holt said a Men’s Shed in Romsey will bring together the community and help support men’s mental health.
“In rural communities where men would retire and have nothing to do, it gives them a purpose to learn new skills and help mentor others,” Mr Holt said.
“It helps individuals as well as the community with projects for schools and community parks.”
Despite efforts to get this initiative up and running in Romsey both Mr Goodman and Mr Holt are unable to secure a location close to Romsey.
“We’ve identified one or two possibilities that are just of reach. Mary-Anne Thomas secured $60,000 from the state government for us to work on an establishment – we’re trying to work out how we can spend that money,” Mr Holt said.
“If we could find a piece of ground that we could get a long term commitment and a very reasonable lease or donation, we could try and make it work.”
The Romsey Men’s Shed found a location at Romsey Park but said they have had setbacks in adhering to conditions from the Macedon Ranges Shire Council.
“We have sought a space in Romsey Park but the significant terms and conditions from the council have become an obstacle,” Mr Holt said.
Last October, Premier Daniel Andrews was at the Kyneton Men’s Shed with Mental Health Minister Martin Foley and Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas to announce the first Royal Commission into Mental Health.
“Every year one in five Victorians experience a mental illness, while the truth is our mental health system could be a lot better than it is,” Mary-Anne Thomas said.
“I encourage the Macedon community to have their say to help shape the future of mental health services in Victoria.”
Mr Holt hopes these discussions can lead to securing a location for the Men’s Shed and allow them to give back to the community.
“We’re not seeking profit, we’re looking to give back to the community”
For more information on the Romsey Men’s Shed or if you’d like to discuss donations or locations please call Patrick Holt on 0407209899