Waratah Respite Centre Mens Shed clients and facilitators, Don, Les, Rene Suter, Peter, Mark, Neville, Gary, Chris Day, Ken Ryan and John, enjoy the Ash Johnson painted shed.
Waratah Respite Centre Mens Shed clients and facilitators, Don, Les, Rene Suter, Peter, Mark, Neville, Gary, Chris Day, Ken Ryan and John, enjoy the Ash Johnson painted shed. Rob Wright

Men's big day out in the shed

THERE are no girls allowed at a recently opened men's club in Coffs Harbour.

The Men's Shed at Waratah Respite Services is a place for men who want to work with wood, paint and socialise with other blokes.

The shed operates every Tuesday and men get to work in the shed, have lunch at the centre and then take the bus to visit local sights before getting dropped back home.

"It gives them a chance to socialise with a group of men that they might not otherwise get," Waratah Respite Services manager Wallis Cummings said.

"There's a real sense of camaraderie down here".

The men get to build a variety of wooden items at the shed and many of these can be purchased at the centre. "It's not about making money but it's important they get to make things they are proud of and maintain and improve their skills," the manager said.

The shed also gives their wives or children a break from being full-time carers.

"We've had great feedback from carers who say the men sleep better through the night and are happier in general." Many volunteers help out at the shed.

"Ken Ryan volunteers so much of his time doing all the behind the scenes work and his help has been really important to us."

Local artist Ash Johnson was commissioned to paint the inside of the shed in a style that evoked memories of the past.

"He's just done such a great job, it just looks great."



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