Article for Coochie Island News, May 2019
The Coochie Men’s Shed has now been completed, we have finally moved in, and there are various activities taking place on the premises. There are things being renovated, wheelchairs and other items undergoing maintenance for the Coochie Progress Association and other activities are arising as we become more comfortable with our new home. While there are limitations, we will slowly discover what is possible within the space, taking into account that the conditions of occupancy for the site include a total prohibition on the use of power tools.
One thing that has been possible is for us to coordinate a Sausage Sizzle on the days that the Op Shop opens for business. Although this is not of enormous financial benefit to the Shed, yet is has been useful as a support for the Op Shop and in providing an opportunity and a reason for men to gather and engage with our community.
One welcome development is that the Shed is becoming a drop-in destination for men on the island. On mornings when the Shed is open, men can often be found with a coffee in hand (rather than a drill), simply talking quietly and sharing stories about the challenges and joys of manhood.
In fact, looking back to the genesis of the Men's Shed movement, this model of men engaging with men was a large component of the birthing of the Men's Shed organization. It was seen as a partial solution to the growing sense of isolation reportedly experienced by many men and to the rising tide of male suicide, a phenomenon which has certainly touched most people, especially in smaller communities such as Coochiemudlo Island.
Now that we have a place and a space, men of all ages are welcome to become members. No skills are required, apart from the capacity to respect others.
Finally, the Shed is alcohol and smoke free, but there's always coffee, there's always soft-drink, and there's always companionship. Isolation is over right now, if that's how you want it.
You can find contact details and other information at our website at coochiemensshed.com.