Thurgoona and Wodonga Men’s Sheds members speak for Men’s Health Week | The Border Mail


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“Shoulder to Shoulder” is the motto of the Thurgoona Men’s Shed, because as shed secretary Graham Thring puts it, “men will talk a lot more about what’s going on in their lives if they’re at a workbench”. June 14-20 marks Men’s Health Week and Mr Thring said that’s what the shed is all about. “The main focus of the men’s shed is men’s health,” he said. “The idea is that we provide assistance with their physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. “We have a bloke who recently joined us and he just comes to sit and talk, nothing else, because he has nothing else to do at home.” IN OTHER NEWS: Chair of the Wodonga Men’s Shed Bill Donovan said his involvement with the group had helped with his own mental health struggles. “It’s been really good for me, I had a few problems with anxiety and depression,” Mr Donovan said. “There are various projects that we work on so it takes my mind off dwelling on things that depress me, and more on things that I enjoy doing.” Mr Donovan said the shed was also a great way for retirees to stay engaged and active. “Because we’ve worked full time just about all our lives, all of sudden you reach retirement age and you’re sitting at home twiddling your thumbs,” he said. “They say sitting around doing nothing is worse than overdoing it.” But men’s sheds aren’t solely beneficial for retirees. At the Thurgoona Men’s Shed 10 per cent of the group’s 104 members have a disability. “The most important thing about the men’s shed is to give men of any age, any ability, somewhere to go and talk to other people,” shed member Bruce Dyce said. “We love having them here and it gives them a chance to be around other people besides their families and carers. “We’ve brought a few guys well out of their shells who have previously been pretty quiet.” The Wodonga shed boasts a membership of around 80 men of all ages, Mr Donovan said. Mr Thring said that the shed also organises speakers to present to the group on subjects such as suicide prevention. “The guys here are pretty open with each other, we’ve had several discussions on suicide prevention and we’ve had guest speakers in here as well,” he said. “There is an importance placed on creating the conditions here for men to talk. “There are some strong bonds here, which is important, because without that people aren’t going to be talking about what’s going on in their heads.” Thurgoona Men’s Shed member David Williams stressed what the shed meant to him. “It’s important to me, it’s virtually my life now,” he said.


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