GET INVOLVED: Gerry Graham is the president of the Gladstone Men's Shed, which starts up again for the year today.
GET INVOLVED: Gerry Graham is the president of the Gladstone Men's Shed, which starts up again for the year today. Mara Pattison-Sowden

A shed load of reasons to join hands-on group

IT'S the Gladstone community organisation that offers a shed load of reasons to join.

And with a bumper year in store for Gladstone Men's Shed, it's the perfect time to join ahead of their recommencement on January 8.

Open to men over the age of 18, the group offers men a place of respite where they can tinker with tools and build comradeship with other blokes.

Aided by a grant from Gladstone Ports Corporation under their Community Investment Program, Men's Shed is this year continuing one of their core projects, Early Childhood Service Project for a fifth year.

President of Men's Shed, Gerry Graham, said the group had the opportunity to multiply the value of the grant up to five times through labour.

"We were very fortunate again, every year we apply to Gladstone Ports Corporation for a grant and the grant gives us money to buy materials,” he said.

"We use those materials to make items for early childhood centres, so they could be tables, easels, chairs, there's a whole shot of things they may need.

"The idea is we provide the labour for free, so you're probably multiplying the value of that money from the port (corporation) by about four or five, which is then given free of charge to the early childhood centres.”

While the program is an opportunity for men to make a difference to others, there is ample opportunity to also make a difference to themselves.

With a strong social element to the group, weekly get-togethers offer the chance for connection on a number of levels.

"There's some great conversations and a lot of sharing around guys' health issues,” Gerry said.

"People (with issues) ranging from depression to physical things like heart and prostate, which is the standard things for older blokes.

"For some it's a respite time because a couple of the guys' wives have dementia, and it's a wonderful outlet for them to come down and take a break from caring for them.

"We try to have regular activities relating to men's health, so we have people from Heart Foundation or Prostate Foundation, to hearing tests and cybersecurity information.”

Gerry said anybody interested in joining is welcome to come down on Tuesday or Thursday between 8am-12pm.

"Stop in and make yourself known and someone will shake your hand, show you around and tell you what its all about,” he said.