A place to go and grow

members of the Wisemans Ferry Men's Shed gather around the bus they have sponsored.

A place to go and grow

It’s National Men’s Shed Week – a chance to the profile the amazing work of the Wiseman Ferry Community Men’s Shed.  Supported by Uniting Ability Links, the Wiseman Ferry Shed is a positive, alcohol-free activity space for the local community – a place where people can gather together to upskill and socialise, complete with:

  • Tools and equipment
  • Activities and outings
  • A free library, updated weekly with new reading material and audiobooks
  • Hang-out space.

And the Shed is not just a space for men. In a show of equality, the member-base has opened membership up to women – who, just like the men, are increasing their sense of independence by building their handy-woman skills, as well as connecting with their local community.

As founding member, Adrian, says. “The shed is a place that helps get people out of the house and gives them somewhere to go and grow.”

The shed founders built the shed from scratch with the help of volunteers in what they describe as a “great community effort” and an excellent example of how a community can really flourish when people work together.

However; it soon became apparent that getting people to the shed was trickier than expected in an isolated area with no public transport or taxis. So, Adrian and his fellow founder Alan came up with a solution: Buy a community bus to bring the people to the shed.

Adrian and Alan shared their idea with the community and through fundraising and donations, support from their local MP, plus offers of ongoing subsidised fuel and vehicle maintenance from locals, they drummed up funds towards a new vehicle.

Close to their target, the Wiseman Ferry Community Men’s Shed pitched their idea to Uniting Ability Links as a Funding of Community Ideas (FOCI) project and we were more than happy to support their community initiative.

Alan says that the shed is very grateful for this support. “I’d like to thank the Uniting people,” he said. “Without their help, we wouldn’t have this bus to be able to help the community.”

In a wonderful show of community spirit, the members have decided to make the bus available for much more than getting people to and from the shed. In particular, when they became aware that there were no disability transport services within a 50km radius, they wanted to help bridge that gap.

Having the bus means:

  • People living with disability can take the bus to the doctor without having to request and wait an hour for an ambulance to arrive.
  • People who use wheelchairs or have limited mobility can now get around because the bus is large enough to accommodate their mobility devices.
  • Community members who can’t drive or don’t have a driver’s licence can attend the shed – including older people who have given up their licence and may be isolated at home.
  • More people from further afield can now access the shed.
  • Group members can attend courses and activities at other venues.

Watch an interview with Adrian and Alan below.

Learn more.

To learn more about the Uniting Ability Links Funding of Community Ideas project, call us on 02 8830 0768 or email us for an information pack.

Visit the Men’s Shed website to find a shed near you.

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