One of the best ways to start up a Men’s Shed is to get local interest happening in your area. Put a posters in local shopping centres and do letter box drops to get more noticed. You can get your local clubs and other charity groups interested in helping you start up a Men’s Shed. If you are looking for professional support to help you start up a Men’s Shed then I would recommend you contact the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA). They can assist you with how to get started forming a Men’s Shed in your local area. The AMSA offer a manual that can help you get going and offers you ideas to do what is needed to start up a Men’s Shed. There is no cost involved in joining the AMSA, but you will need to get insurance to help protect your new members and this is where the association can help you. They have a national insurance policy that no other insurance company could possible hope to match.
Men’s Sheds consist of volunteers who get together and form a shed. They offer lots of support to both their members and their local community. So in saying this, contact the local Lions Club, or Rotary, even Apex, they can all be a great help in getting you going. A shed can act as a mentoring support for its members. Men when they retire from work can be at a loss for something to do and just staying at home can drive your family mad. Like the slogan of the AMSA says, men talk shoulder to shoulder and not face to face. This is where a Men’s Shed comes to the forefront, they act as a support to each other and help fight off those depression blues. You can us this to help get your new Men’s Shed up and going, there are lots of blokes out there that would like to have something to do. No they are not all old guys, some men retire from work early because of medical problems, so are Men’s Sheds just for old guys, the answer is no! They range in age from 18 year of age upwards.
So What Do You Need To Get Started!
This is just my check list, I belong to a great shed and don’t need to reinvent the wheel. I go by what is the functionality of our shed only, once again contact the AMSA for full support in your efforts to get a shed going.
- Find a good body of men who will help for your committee, best example… Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, plan monthly meetings.
- With our shed we get a massive amount of support from our local Community Centre, you may have a local Community Centre or Neighbourhood Centre that would like to back your efforts.
- The government is now offering crown land for Men’s Sheds for those who live in NSW. There are 33 Men’s Sheds on Crown Land in NSW.
- Let your local council know about your intentions of wanting to start a Men’s Shed, some councils will try to offer support.
- Seek out local business support, getting our local community on side with Men’s Shed activities is vital.
- When you get started, get your ABN and DGR certification done with the taxation office, so your new shed is recognised as an acceptable charity in the community.
- Plan the size of your new Men’s Shed, aim big, because if you only get started with a small shed, it won’t take long before you grow in size.
- Get noticed in the community, get bumper stickers for the cars. Put up fliers in shop windows. That s how my local shed got me.
- Try to give examples of what you are going to do in your Men’s Shed for your local community. Example ……Repair things for elderly and disabled, support your local retirement village, men in them are looking for more support, offer support to blokes that have had a stroke or a break down and are looking for support. Help out at the local school, build things for the.
- Let people know what hours you intend to keep your new Men’s Shed open.
Getting a Men’s Shed started, no matter where you come from, can be a challenge, but being there for your local community and the men that work in the shed is a well worthwhile cause. Even New Zealand papers are talking about Men’s Sheds.
We have only officially been going since September 2011. So I felt we could qualify, in offering some support for those that want to start up their own Men’s Shed. I have seen people walking past our shed, walking their dogs and have engaged them in conversation, and found that they have been watching with keen interest as our Men’s Shed has grown. New members are always welcome, and more Information for Health Professionals can be found on the Australian Men’s Shed Association website. In conclusion, how to start up a men’s shed can be a challenge, is you follow the guidelines offered by the Australian Mens Shed Association, then you can’t go to far wrong.