BUSY BASTION: Destination Howard St for Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed members Matthew Black, Ken Ryan, Chris Day and Robert Houston.
BUSY BASTION: Destination Howard St for Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed members Matthew Black, Ken Ryan, Chris Day and Robert Houston. Trevor Veale

The meaning of mateship in a shed

THEY have built many extraordinary things, manning the tools in their five years of mateship, but the members of the Coffs Harbour Men's Shed are sketching up their biggest project ever.

"On to a new premises," they declared, while clutching the four by twos on the back of the shed's ute.

It's a goal that's nearing reality, according to Ken Ryan from the shed, with the fundraising pool for a new premises reaching $100,000 with just on $50,000 to go.

"Coffs Harbour City Council is working on giving us a block of ground near the racecourse in Howard St and we have been hard at work fundraising the $150,000 we'll need to have the new shed built," Ken said.

"The land in Howard St has needed to be rezoned by council ... but things are moving forward.

"We have been paying $20,000 a year on rent at the current Marcia St shed so at a new site we'll save money.

"There's a lot of optimism building over a new site for the Men's Shed."

The men's shed concept that's been rolled out across the nation has been widely praised as a significant men's health initiative particularly for retired men.

Locally, these blokes say the shed has been a great place to make new mates, build things, share a trick or two on the tools and, importantly, access a peer support network.



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