LEICHHARDT MP Warren Entsch is rallying the local community to help the Cairns Men’s Shed complete its new woodworking shed project.
The Shed is building the new workspace to isolate the dusty and noisy wood-working and wood-turning sections, which are housed under the same roof as the social and recreational areas.
The Shed has secured a range of grants and in-kind support to carry out the works, including a $20,000 Federal Government Stronger Communities Grant which was matched by the Shed.
“I’ve been working with the Cairns Men’s Shed for a number of years and they’re very proactive and community-minded,” Mr Entsch said. “This is illustrated by the success of the Myna Bird Trap program and their support for groups such as the Arc Toy Library, Red Cross, the RSL, local kindergartens and schools.
“This project was in line to get a Work for the Dole crew to assist from mid-2016 but unfortunately it didn’t eventuate because there weren’t enough WFD volunteers available in Cairns.
“The Shed members have done a huge amount of work themselves, but they now need a bit of community assistance to finish the project and I’d urge anyone who can help to contact my office.”
Shed President John King said the dust and noise pollution under the existing shared arrangement was aggravating members with respiratory problems, causing them to stay away from the Shed even when the equipment wasn’t being used.
“The new external workshop will increase the size of the current clubrooms by a third, allowing the Shed to expand and offer more services to existing and new members,” he said.
“A couple of our fitter members have spent hundreds of hours doing the preparation work for the project. Stages 1 and 2 have been completed, including tree removal and the shed’s construction. “Electrical wiring and lighting should be completed in a week or two, but there are several projects that need immediate attention – including shifting into the new shed ? that we need some outside assistance with,” Mr King said.
“We’re hoping that there may be some tradies out there who would be willing to donate some time and/or materials to help us complete the job.”
The list of tasks, in order of importance, is:
– Concrete or pave a 6m x 5m area
– Roof 2-3 shipping containers, including a gap of 6m x 5m to be used for urgent storage
– Set up shelving in a storage area and secure the area with a wire fence
– Concrete or pave the area under the wash basins
– Move all heavy machinery from old clubrooms to new shed ? requires a light forklift, possibly electric
– Move engineering section within the Clubrooms
– Clean existing clubrooms and repaint walls
– Line ceiling
– Build wire cage partitions (approx. 30m with 15cm wire mess and metal posts)
– Build an office partition
– Set up new shelving in store room
“Men’s Sheds provide an important service for men in our community, getting them involved in innovative projects and helping them to connect-whether it’s through a building project, a first aid workshop or a transition to retirement seminar,” Mr Entsch said.
“At the Cairns Men’s Shed there are any number of activities for men to take part in, which in turn provide an important sense of belonging to a community.”
The Cairns Men’s Shed is also hoping to secure a Work for the Dole team in the New Year to assist with ongoing tasks at the Shed, including paving, repairs to fences and shoring, general cleaning and rubbish removal, repainting containers, sorting donated goods, and helping with building and assembling shelving units.
Work for the Dole places job seekers in activities where they can gain skills and experience that give back to the community and can help them find a job. Any male job seekers who are fit and capable and would like to volunteer to help at the Shed through Work for the Dole should contact Mr Entsch’s office.