OFFICIAL OPENING - “Wash up” facilities give men new lease on life

Sunshine Valley Men’s Shed is going from strength to strength and thanks to funding from the Federal Government’s Community Development Grant it now has the facilities to attract new members.

Federal MPs Ted O’Brien and Andrew Wallace said the project for new kitchen and toilet facilities totalled $94,000.

“The grant has enabled the Sunshine Valley Men’s Shed to construct a small extension to their woodwork shed which now includes a new kitchen complete with fridge, stove, and dishwasher.  It also allowed them to build a small amenities block to include a disabled toilet and shower,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Men’s Sheds offer friendship, a sense of purpose and a place for older men to belong and contribute. Members around the Coast have told me that without Men’s Sheds, there are local men who would not be alive today. These extensions are going to help keep the Sunshine Valley Men’s Shed accessible and welcoming for all for years to come,” Mr Wallace said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian Government’s $90,000 investment in community infrastructure would provide long term benefits to the Sunshine Coast region.

“In addition to providing services suitable for men with disabilities through improved access to the facility, this investment will also produce long-term economic benefits to the Men’s Shed as it will allow for them to maintain and grow their membership,” Mr McCormack said.

Sunshine Valley Men’s Shed President Ron Baumann said the grant had been invaluable.

“These new facilities are much appreciated by the Shed Members as a large percentage of our members are in their "Twilight Years", and until now the only toilet was 50 meters up a steep hill from our new amenities block,” Mr Baumann said.

“The men’s shed has a mix of activities compared to other men’s sheds.  Being on 2ha of land, the shed has woodwork and metalwork, and also the members cultivate and grow crops for sale at our roadside stall. Produce includes mandarins, avocados, pomegranate, figs and rosellas as well as worm farming, herbs and plants.

“In the Summer months the shed workers in the field will appreciate a welcome shower in our new toilet block and also with our new kitchen we can have some social evenings, BBQ’s come to mind.  Wash up and toilet facilities provided by the Grant allow this to happen.

“These Amenities provided by the Federal Government Grant with Ted`s representation are highly valued with many thanks from the Shed Members.”

This project received $90,000 in funding from the Australian Government under the Community Development Grants Programme.  The Sunshine Valley Men’s Shed contributed $4,107.