A timely return to Men’s Sheds

John Scholes and Wayne Mensforth are happy to be back at The Barossa Community Men’s Shed, Tanunda.

“We are very, very excited to be back,” said Mr John Scholes, Project Officer with The Barossa Council.

It’s been a long three months, but The Barossa Community Men’s Shed at 6 Ash Street, Tanunda were able to re-open their doors on Monday.

The timely return coincided with the end of Men’s Health Week, which was recognised from June 15 to 21.

John, the Men’s Shed’s Project Officer was thrilled to see their doors re-open on Monday and highlighted just how important it was for mental and physical health.

“Our last day open was back on March 24. As soon as it was known COVID-19 was a risk to older people we shut down,” said John.

“But the social need is palpable. Men now need to get out of the house to meet new or old friends. A lack of socialisation creates so much tension.”

John has been a member of the shed for the past three years, after arriving from Alice Springs looking for a place to socialise and meet people.

He believes that whilst the social aspect is important, it’s also about sharing ideas on men’s health and having the ability to talk to other men about any issues.

The Barossa Community Men’s Shed has 20 members, with a dozen visiting regularly once a week or every fortnight.

It originally started as a component of St. Petri Lutheran Church, Nuriootpa in a tin shed, but found a new home sharing a shed with the Rotary Club of Barossa Valley and the Great Revival Shop’s sorting facility.

Not only can the men socialise and chat, but they can learn valuable skills, help create projects for the community, pursue hobbies and share their knowledge with members.

Mr Wayne Mensforth, Tanunda has been part of the Men’s Shed for 2 and a half years.

After being in the metal trade industry most of his working career, he found it hard mentally to just stop working.

“The Men’s Shed has offered me a transition socially to meet and work with a great group of people,” he said.

“Also you can challenge yourself to do whatever project you wish to participate in, be it woodwork, leather craft, painting or helping on other people’s projects.

“It is very well run and organised with health and safety a priority.”

The Barossa Community Men’s Shed, a community service of The Barossa Council, funded by the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, is open Monday and Tuesday from 8.30 a.m. to 12 noon, and Thursday’s from 8.30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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