Getting together with a group of mates has been linked to positive health and wellness outcomes.
In Men’s Health Week, from June 15 to 21, the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) is encouraging all men to book in a date with their mates.
Luckily for locals there are plenty of Men’s Sheds, with 14 dotted across the Coast.
Wyong Men’s Shed Co-ordinator, Brian Holt, said the shed was a very easy going place where men could go along and work on projects and spend time together.
“We have 53 members on our books currently,” he said.
“We’re a little bit different from the other Men’s Sheds on the Coast as we allow our members to bring their own projects in to work on.
“At the shed, we do woodworking, metalworking and some of the guy’s tinker with engines.
“We also do community projects and recently we fixed up an old table that was left out in the weather.
“Some people just come to talk, and it gives them a chance to get out of their cocoon.” Holt said.
The Wyong Men’s Shed runs every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
“We’re not hard and fast about times, someone is always there around 9:30am but generally anyone who wants to come rocks up whenever they feel like it.
“Ours is a very easy going shed, we don’t really stop anyone from coming.
“We do recommend that anyone wanting to join our shed come down to see if they like it, it also gives us a chance to see if we like them.
“We recommend that anyone wanting to join has thick skin as we like to rib each other but there are real friendships that form at the shed and we have a few guys that go to dinner together with their wives,” Holt said.
The Wyong shed also welcomes members with physical and mental disabilities, and their members are aged from 40 to upwards of 80.
“It’s like a mentorship program for some of the guys, they can come and learn some new things.
“I think COVID really hit home how important the Men’s Shed was for all of us, and how much we missed just being able to go,” Holt said.
AMSA Executive Officer, David Helmers, said that you were never too old to get something out of having a group of friends, whether they have been around forever and a day, or they were new connections.
“With ageing comes an increasing importance in staying connected to people and to communities, but equally this connection can become increasingly challenging.
“Physical health and the move away from work and family commitments can easily lead to becoming socially isolated.
“The empirical evidence is clear, social participation is positively linked to mental wellbeing and quality of life, particularly in older people,” Helmers said.
“As prevention is better than a cure, when it comes to health and wellness, to reap the most benefit from social participation people have to be proactive about seeking and maintaining meaningful social engagement.
“It’s just older blokes that benefit from engaging with people and participating in their communities.
“Regardless of age, meaningful social participation is a platform for good health and wellbeing.
“For thousands of men, Men’s Sheds are a perfect combination of somewhere to go and something to do, with a group of people with similar interests.”
The Australian Men’s Shed Association is the peak national service provider supporting almost 1,200 Men’s Sheds and is recongised as one of Australia’s largest male based community development organisations.