Oaklands Men's Shed gets everybody involved

Adam and Ron Richardson lay the first slab for the Oaklands Men’s Shed. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL

Adam and Ron Richardson lay the first slab for the Oaklands Men’s Shed. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL

THEY might be building a Men’s Shed, but that hasn’t stopped the whole town of Oaklands from getting involved in its construction.

So much so, one of the organisers, Adam Richardson, reckons it could be a community shed.

“If a group of women want to use it they’ll be able to book it ... but they won’t have a key,” he joked.

The shed’s construction started this week after a push from a group of men in the town, including Mr Richardson’s father, Ron.

“They felt Oaklands needed a Men’s Shed, because there’s no place for blokes to get together unless it’s at a pub or similar,” he said.

“Dad roped me into it ... and from there we’ve had a lot of support.”

There has been help from support group Intereach and the Corowa RSL, which donated almost $7000, as well as in other forms from other townsfolk — be it tools, supplies or services.

Mr Richardson, 32, moved from Oaklands to Corowa three years ago, but was rapt he could help his home town with something so beneficial.

Among them is companionship for those like his father, 72, who lost his wife, Merry, 11 years ago.

“I know he could have really done with a place like this then,” Mr Richardson said.

“Men’s Sheds provide so much assistance for people who are isolated.

“It’s easy to get caught up in the bricks and mortar stuff, but that’s not what it’s ultimately about — because we don’t talk about that.”

There are six suicides in Australia each day, including five men, and men in the 80-plus age bracket are most at risk.

The shed project aims to combat those figures.

A district nurse will visit once a month.

“We’ve adopted the motto men don’t talk face to face but they do stand shoulder to shoulder,” Mr Richardson said.

Lifeline: 13 11 14

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