Three years ago Pomona & District Community House had received many queries from new residents whether there was a Men’s Shed in our area and since there wasn’t PCH asked our Community about whether they wanted such a facility in Pomona. At the time there were 600 Men’s Sheds around Australia. A meeting was called to determine whether this was needed and in the end after a very enthusiastic response a steering Committee was formed to explore the possibilities.
After having demonstrations at our local Market and Heritage Week festival of what the Men’s Shed would have available we were inundated with over 150 expressions of interest in becoming members. Since then we have received 2 to 3 extra expressions of interest each week.
Over the past 3 years Men’s Shed Pomona has been trying to find a venue to provide these men with a place to operate and after being unsuccessful in 2 site applications amazingly we found out the Forestry Department headquarters in Pomona which QLD Parks and Wildlife Service had taken over and which had not been used for up to 7 years was available for use by a Community Group. We applied for occupancy and were successful.
To bring you up to date with what happened from there with the pretty rundown shed which we took control of on the 1st of November last year of the site. The shed was without water, electricity and sewerage.
We have since installed electricity and water to allow us to get under way.
Recently we were successful in a grant application to the Gambling Community Benefit Fund of $34,021 to extend the shed by 12m x 8m which will be awesome.
The extension will include a disabled access toilet and shower, a large kitchen/meeting room/social room/pool room to provide a place where men can chill out, talk to each other about their lives, have fun, discuss projects that the Shed can undertake. The existing shed has been transformed from a timber slatted exterior to a Colorbond sheeted building which is weatherproof and secure.
In the meantime we work on the shed every Wednesday and will be also having a working bee every second Saturday from 8.30am.
Paperwork with building details have been submitted to Noosa Council and we expect approval to proceed in the next 3 weeks.
Come along and see the enthusiasm and results of 5 months work.
I forgot to mention a small thing that happened last year. We had entered a “Help a Mate” contest with Colorbond in 2013 and forgotten about it until we received an email in 2014 saying we were on the short list and wanted more details about our group. I sent the details to Colorbond and 2 months later we received a call to say that we were one of 10 winners around Australia to be awarded $15,000 towards making our mates a place to meet.
It is marvellous how men, who have not previously been expressive about their lives and their health, find it easier to talk about these things in this environment. At times, talking about one’s own health problems, will make others think and compare their own symptoms and encourage them to seek medical advice, something the average bloke previously found embarrassing. Lives can , in fact, be saved by this contribution.
We hope you will get as enthused and wanting to join us at the Shed once we get the building ready.
So much has happened in the past 6 month it is amazing and will continue to become so.
We look forward to meeting you. You can contact me, Brian Lawson, on 54852865