The Men’s shed in Kooweerup is encouraging local men to identify the shed as place to share skills and socialise.
Kooweerup is a relatively disadvantaged community, with isolation, loneliness and depression as major health issues for many of the men. This is compounded by the male culture of not talking about feelings or emotions and not taking as active an interest in their own health and wellbeing as they could. The men’s shed increases social connectedness in the community, fosters a sense of purpose and social connection for the men who would otherwise be isolated through retirement, retrenchment , mental illness or disadvantage through lack of transport and access to services.
Kooweerup has many retired men who have had to downsize their living arrangements, or move from farming properties to living in the town which often results in the man’s personal space (usually the garden shed or workshop) being lost. Many of the men are unemployed, have health issues or are retired and have found the transition from working to retirement a challenge.
The Kooweerup Men’s Shed supports men to become connected with each other without any pressure; the shed creates the opportunity for men to be involved in something meaningful and make a positive contribution to the community through the community projects the shed undertakes. The shed is now recognised as a meeting place for the local “blokes” where they can get involved in the community, keep pursuing their interests, learn new skills or share old skills.
The shed provides a space for older men and men with disabilities to share skills with local youth from the area. Various projects involve students from the local secondary college and primary schools, working alongside the men to create a project that benefits the local community. Men from a local disability day program all have membership and enjoy participating in the projects.
The shed is co-located on the grounds of the Community Health Service and supported by a community development worker. Health education sessions and Health Promotion activities create a supportive environment around the shed. Health education sessions are conducted in an informal friendly way around the lounge area of the shed and encourage not only local men but wives and families to come along. The co-location enables easy referral and support into various health services. There are also good links with the senior citizens and local RSL as well as township committee and other local service clubs.
Kooweerup Men’s Shed has been operational for all most 10 years, opening 9.00am till 4.00pm Monday to Friday and then 9.00am till 1.00pm on a Saturday.
We are also open some nights for special events such as, a pool competition each month, local Venturer unit meetings, after school program and special events.
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