Men’s Sheds across the country have started to reopen after weeks of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, giving men an opportunity to get together and experience health benefits.
With Men’s Sheds closed for several months due to COVID-19, the benefits are now more apparent than ever.
The closure of Men’s Sheds has gone against the purpose of the movement, which is to prevent social isolation.
The Kilmore District Men’s Shed is one of many to reopen in the past two weeks with strict social distancing measures to keep its members safe.
Kilmore District Men’s Shed vice president John Perrett said the shed’s members had been keen to come back for a while now.
“For the men’s shed as a whole, it’s brilliant. As you can see, the blokes are all eager to work and do something,” he said.
“Between the president, myself and a couple of the secretariat, we were ringing five people a day each just to keep in touch with everybody.
“People would come and have a look and ask when they could come back.
“It’s a big part of their life. If you’re living on your own and have nobody to talk to, at least you can come here two days a week and really socialise.”
To protect its members, many of who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than most of the population, Kilmore District Men’s Shed has rearranged its kitchen, reorganised how it distributes food and placed hand sanitisers in every building.
“We’ve bought an infrared thermometer to temperature check so we check everybody’s temperature before they go in,” Me Perrett said.
“We just can’t afford for one person to get in with the virus and we shut for two weeks.”
The reopening comes at a good time as the Australian Men’s Shed Association celebrated Men’s Health Week last week.
Executive officer David Helmers said the association was taking Men’s Health Week as an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the health benefits – both physical and mental – of visiting the shed.
“Around the world men – particularly older men – are finding themselves much healthier and happier through involvement in Men’s Sheds,” he said.
“After a number of difficult months of social isolation, many men are returning to Men’s Sheds and celebrating.”