Small Shed, Big Heart

Over the past couple years, the 59 strong membership of the Men’s Shed has taken an even stronger turn towards an emphasis on socialisation. This is not uncommon amongst Men’s Shed across Australia, but Breakfast Point is unique in the frequency of their interaction. Whilst most Shed’s are open 1 to 2 days a week, Breakfast point remains open 7 days. The group consistently meet on Wednesdays for a coffee and general chat. Bike rides, Tennis groups, shed walks are all organised on a weekly basis. 2019 has seen the introduction of Thursday night ‘drop ins’ were men can come and play games or watch a movie together. And of course, the greatest part of the week for the men if TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday), where they have a few beers just outside the Shed, enjoying each other’s company. 

 

The men conversed upon the importance of socialisation in the Shed. The following are excerpts taken from a group discussion about it, these statements have rung true for many of the men involved in Shed life.

 

‘Most of the guys here are retired, apart from the odd job here and there, there needs to be something, a social activity to fill up the week. We play tennis once a week.’

 

‘Yeah a social outlet for men where the shedless men are the same but they meet once a month. Where our shed is open 7 days a week, have a chat or coffee, do whatever they want’

 

‘Its a very big part of the shed, men’s health ... Nearly all the people came from houses into apartments, that’s a different style of living altogether. You don’t have a garage to ponder in, you don’t have a garden, so where do you go? So where do you go, the men’s shed!’

 

‘You can get away from your wife! ... She doesn’t seem to mind that you’re gone either’

The newly implemented Thursday night 'dropins'

A few of the men on their weekly bike ride

Through their efforts to create a livable, inviting space, the Men have fostered an attitude of support and camaraderie together. Bonding over past stories, or forging new ones in the weekly activities on offer at the Shed, Breakfast Point Men’s Shed is truly a valuable place for its members. It has been made so by the men that comprise it - generous, funny and kind hearted people seeking friendship and mutual support in their retirement. For one of the smallest shed's in Australia, it shows a lot of heart.

The Men in their Shed

© 2019 by William Blanks, University of Sydney. Proudly created with Wix.com

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