COMMUNITY GIFT – Narrabri Men’s Shed

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This month the Complete Parts and @ The Coalface $500 Community Gift goes towards the Narrabri Men’s Shed, an organisation that is a vital part of the Narrabri community.

Travelling around the state, you may think that one of the most common sights you’ll see are the Golden Arches of a McDonald’s.

Believe it or not, it’s really Men’s Sheds which you’re even more likely to run across as there are more than 1200 Men’s Shed in Australia, which is more than the total number of the popular hamburger company’s outlets.

For the past 12 years, some 30 members of the Narrabri Men’s Shed have been gathering three mornings a week for company, handiwork, or just a chat.

Narrabri Men’s Shed president Gordon Cain said it was an important part of the community because men could come along and enjoy themselves no end.

“Farmers move to the city, and it gets them out of the house to yarn and is a great thing for their health,” he said.

“We get more than a dozen boys every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

“Some only play cards, some just want a chat, others do woodworking, repairing or welding and the like.

Gordon said with a population of only several thousand, the Men’s Shed had become a vital part of the Narrabri community over the past decade.

“It’s a great asset for older, retired men and has become very well established with a spread of difference occupations, including schoolteachers, pathologists and farmers.

“All members bring their own stuff or, if a resident wants a chair fixed or wardrobe painted, we’ll do it for a cost and that’s how we make our money.”

A Men’s Shed spokesman said most men had learned from our culture that they don’t talk about feelings and emotions, and many do not take an interest in their own health and well-being.

“Unlike women, most men are reluctant to talk about their emotions and that means that they usually don’t ask for help,” he said.

“Probably because of this, many men are less healthy than women, drink more, take more risks and suffer more from isolation, loneliness and depression.

“Relationship breakdown, retrenchment or early retirement from a job, loss of children following divorce, physical or mental illness are just some of the problems that men may find difficult to deal with on their own.

“Becoming a member of a Men’s Shed provides a safe and busy environment where men can find many of these things in an atmosphere of old-fashioned mateship. And, importantly, there is no pressure.”

To find out more about the Narrabri Men’s Shed you can find them on Facebook or drop in and say hello at Reid Street in Narrabri.

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