Coolum’s Men get their Shed

Coolum Men’s Shed President Trevor Ryan, Vice President John Anderson and Secretary Don Knopke with their members at the group’s first monthly meeting in their own ‘Shed’.

Coolum’s newly formed Men’s Shed is finally up and running following an executive decision to lease an industrial shed when a public plea for a suitable community venue failed to yield results late last year.
“Over 40 men have enquired about the shed and close to 30 have joined, but everyone was getting restless. They wanted to get stuck into their projects,” Coolum Men’s Shed Secretary Don Knopke explained.
“The shed is located in Coolum’s Centra Park Industrial Estate and is approximately 100sq metres, which should give us enough room for 12-15 people to work at any one time.”
The men held their first meeting in the new shed last week, with fundraising options and ideas high on the evening’s agenda. It was also a chance for members to inspect the handiwork of several innovative members who, thanks to donations of material from a local carpenter, have already built a number of workbenches and storage units to begin the Shed’s ‘fitting out’ process.
“Quite a few people have contacted the shed over the last few months with offers of machinery, materials and tools and our Men’s Shed representatives have been following up these offers,” Mr Knopke said.
“We envisage having the Men’s Shed fully operational Monday to Friday from this week and yes, you don’t have to go to the Shed to make things; just call in for a chat and a cuppa with a few mates. Everyone is welcome!”
A Coolum Men’s Shed steering committee, which investigated the community need in September, recommended that the group be formed as soon as possible and the first official Coolum Men’s Shed executive committee was sworn in just one month later.
“We had over 30 enquiries from men in the Coolum area when we first put the call out. Cr Stephen Robinson and Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson are both fully supportive of the Shed,” Mr Knopke said.
Although there is an abundance of enthusiasm for the new venture, the men’s biggest hurdle over the long term will be funding the lease of the Shed and to this end they are currently brainstorming ideas for ongoing fundraising and support. An official launch of the Coolum Men’s Shed is planned for late February.
The Australian Men’s Shed Association was established in 2007 and with over 720 Sheds already registered, AMSA is now the largest Association in Australia focused on male health.
The Sheds act as a hub for men to share their skills and its common to see men of all ages gathering to restore furniture, fix bicycles or lawnmowers, make bird nesting boxes – or even work together on a kids cubby hose for a charity project.
It’s also an outlet for men young and old to learn about life, share their experiences and provide ‘no pressure’ support to one another through good, old-fashioned mateship while working on meaningful, valued projects.
Coolum Men’s Shed members meet at Lot 4 Gateway Centra Park, 25 Quanda Rd on the second Monday of the month and anyone interested in joining or donating items should email or contact Secretary Don Knopke on 5446 3269.