MP supports men’s shed

By Jackson Russell

AS part of Men’s Shed Week, Member for McEwen Rob Mitchell visited the Romsey Men’s Shed on Wednesday to show his support on their journey towards getting a physical shed.

The Romsey Men’s Shed is still hoping to have a physical shed up and running before their grant funding deadline on July 1 and has engaged with the neighbouring scouts group to help get them there.

Work is still ongoing behind the scenes to help the Romsey Men’s Shed acquire a piece of council land at Romsey Park but they’ve been able to use the Romsey Scout Hall to host meetings.

Because of the relationship with the scouts, the shed can now be built in stages with the workshop coming first before the addition of a meeting space and kitchen.

When the shed is built, the scouts will be able to come into the shed, build on what they learn in scouts and learn new skills from the shedders.

Romsey Men’s Shed president Steve Goodman said Mr Mitchell’s visit helped to keep the ball rolling on their quest for a shed.

“It’s terrific to have Rob here because it gives everyone that’s gathered here a bit of incentive and lets them know that there are people out there that care,” he said.

Romsey Men’s Shed secretary Patrick Holt said it’s a win-win for the community.

“We build on the skills that are in the group, we expand the social aspect for the men who wouldn’t otherwise have those social interactions and we’re addressing what could be significant mental health issues in the community. It all comes out with a positive spin when we’re done,” he said.

Mr Mitchell said the land at Romsey Park was a prime site for the shed and everyone involved was keen to get it done.

“Being here with [Macedon Ranges Shire councillor] Bill West, and [Member for Macedon] Mary-Anne Thomas has been down to visit as well, shows that we’re all working together and we’re all going to try to get this thing done as quickly as possible,” he said.

“We know it will make a huge difference, particularly to men’s lives. Being a male, we generally don’t discuss health issues as much and generally don’t talk about mental health particularly well so it’s important they have these things.

“It’s not just for blokes to come down and go through that discussion, it’s the comradery that you get whether that’s by having a cup of coffee or building a birdhouse. It’s just a great opportunity to socialise and have a better life.”