Melbourne Men’s Shed in its sixth year is recruiting new members and is also keen to attract more women.
The shed, located in the car park basement of Federation Square, has 70 members but less than 10 women.
Chairman Andrew Stefanetti told CBD News the organisation’s facilities were open to the whole community.
He said “shedders” had been busy filling an order book for wooden toys. These ranged from cars, trucks and tops to old-fashioned horses on wheels attached to a push stick.
Eight shedders at Christmas donated a batch of more than 30 toys to the Royal Children’s Hospital. Those children who couldn’t go home picked their favourite.
Apart from toys, the shedders fill requests such as possum nesting boxes to lure possums out of home owners’ roof spaces. The Bureau of Meteorology wanted its 90-year-old cedar boxes used to house delicate outdoor instruments repaired and refurbished. The renewed boxes are preferred to newer commercial ones.
Another job was a table with adjustable height for standing and sitting, for a wheelchair-bound person. Tailor-made wooden storage bins for kindergartens, schools and sport clubs were also in demand, Mr Stefanetti said.
Shedders enjoy their teamwork and being taught skills by volunteer experts on top-flight equipment.
“The shed gives members a purpose and provides camaraderie,” Mr Stefanetti said. “Men often lose their social network after retirement or illness.”
The shed also runs cooking classes on commercial equipment, resulting in popular lunchtime get togethers. There’s a walking group approved by the Heart Foundation, and computer and photography classes.
It’s the only CBD-based shed in Australia. Charity work is free but jobs-to-order are charged for.
For more information on joining the Melbourne Men’s Shed, visit www.melbournemensshed.org