(from Neil Bruce)
Greetings all, presently a steering group of four is preparing, on behalf of sheds already established, an inaugural conference of men’s sheds in Masterton from April 9-11th. This conference has principally been organised to assist new sheds through establishment options, to provide a network of sheds for members to support and visit each other, to prevent unnecessary duplication, to learn collectively as we combine our energies, expertise and experience to seek solutions to problems and to achieve new goals and break new ground. The Masterton shed has shown what is possible to achieve and we would like to share their story along with your stories at this conference. There are some critical areas we all need good information about, Insurance, Public Liability, Safety in the Shed, First Aid, and we need to find the best ways to sustainably fund sheds and their activities. It is important to have local and national government representatives aware of concerns we have and how these concerns can be best addressed in the community.
The theme “Let the Shedding Begin” has at least four foci; awareness raising for the wider community, including local and national politicians, inspirational stories of the benefits of shedding for individuals and communities, tools and ideas to equip shed advocates grow the physical shed presence in each community, and discussion about the formation of a National Association that can advocate and promote the positive values that emerge from the Community Men’s Shed model.
There will be other things to emerge – new friendships, enjoyment, learning, humour, contacts and projects. And what about health, wellbeing and innovation?