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‘Sheddies’, from left: John Wattis, Ken Warn, Mike Butcher, Ian Munro.

The motto of the men’s shed movement is: Shoulder to Shoulder.  It comes from the observation that men are more inclined to talk as they work together, side by side.

This insight resonates with Mike Butcher, Chairman of Yandina Men’s Shed. He’s written a quote on the white board in their break room: “No man is so poor that he has nothing to give.”

Mike says: “Men may come here who feel they have nothing to give or to share.  They may be getting older and feel they are past their use by date.  They may be retired or unable to work.  They could be alone or lonely, even depressed.  They may be broke.  But you don’t need money or anything to be part of our group.  You just bring yourself.”

The message is simple: men of all walks of life can come to the workshop and enjoy communal or individual projects, tinker about or just have a chat and a cuppa.  They will all be welcomed.

“Our purpose is fourfold,” Mike says.  “We teach, learn, contribute and socialise.”

“We share our skills, so we teach each other.  By sharing those skills, we also learn.  We contribute to the community through projects and we also contribute to our own wellbeing.  And lastly, we socialise.  We have regular social activities and often partners come along.  It’s a great way to meet people and feel involved.”

Some of the successful projects of our ‘sheddies’ include:

Historic House gazebo, pre-school play area, upgrading the shed facilities, raising funds for a community defibrillator. Their equipment is acquired through grants, private donations and money-earning projects.

Mike is the coordinator and chairs the meetings, but the members make all the decisions about general policies and what projects to pursue.

The Yandina Men’s Shed is located within the Connections complex on the corner of Farrell and Low streets.  When it began in 2015 it opened one day a week.  Now it’s open five mornings a week which is fine, according to Mike.  They have about 20 members now and they can accommodate more.  Anyone interested in checking out the Yandina Men’s Shed is welcome to drop in any weekday morning from 8.30am.

“We are in the community for the community,” Mike says.