How Men’s Shed improves men’s wellbeing

Men's Shed has a mission to reduce social isolation by providing camaraderie, skills and support.

All around Australia, Men’s Sheds provide a welcoming social environment for men from all walks of life, who come together for camaraderie, new skills, health support, or to tinker with that DIY project.

In Buderim on the Sunshine Coast, the local Men’s Shed has benefited from funds received through the Medibank Community Grants program. With a goal of improving men’s health – physical, mental and emotional – the Shed has created programs focusing on nutrition and exercise, and the grant has allowed in-house cooking classes and weekly meal programs to be set up.

We had a chat with Buderim Men’s Shed Vice President Barry Cheales, to find out more about how the Shed is making a difference in the community.

Buderim Men's Shed

How did Buderim Men’s Shed come about?

The Buderim Rotary Club instigated the concept in late 2010 when they were looking for a local project to improve men’s health. Initially, Buderim Men’s Shed was a small group of about 40 men. This has continued to grow and the number of financial members is now around 250-300, making it the largest of the 1,000 Men’s Sheds in Australia.

What are the aims of the Shed?

Our aims are to improve the health of men on the Sunshine Coast. This includes physical, mental and emotional health. A major aim is to reduce problems associated with social isolation, particularly depression and alcohol abuse. The Shed does this by providing activities for men to enjoy, whether it’s large and complex projects or just a place where they can come for a cup of tea and a chat. A Health and Wellbeing Committee also checks on the progress of health issues of members and their partners, and organises visits and any assistance required.

The Shed also provides a service to the broader community by making and repairing items.

Who visits the Shed?

Our members are encouraged to visit the Shed as often as they want to. There are a number of activities running at the Shed and each activity has a group leader and operates in a specific area at set times during the week. We currently have over 25 activity groups that attract anywhere between a couple of members to over 30.

Our members come from all possible backgrounds from senior managers and professionals to tradesmen, and almost all are fully or largely retired. The average age of members is 72 years with a range over men in their 30s to over 90.

“Surveys show that our members like the freedom to come whenever they feel like it, and the friendship and camaraderie they find at the Shed.”

What activities happen at the Shed? 

There is a huge range of activities on offer, from traditional woodworking, wood turning, toy making, metal work and gardening to discussion groups, music, lead lighting, wood carving and art.

Our most popular groups include computer education (beginner and advanced), woodworking, metal work, physical fitness, furniture restoration, sport and recreation.

What do men love about the Shed?

Surveys show that our members like the freedom to come whenever they feel like it, and the friendship and camaraderie they find at the Shed. They also have the opportunity to give back to the community and complete their own projects. Through our surveys, we know that there is a marked improvement in overall satisfaction of life after joining the Shed.

How did the Medibank Community Fund assist you in reaching your aims?

The Medibank grant has allowed the Shed to develop a number of new initiatives in the health field. We have established a physical fitness program, ‘Shed Strong’, and employed health professionals to assist with its set up and running, and developed our nutrition program.

‘Shed Strong’ incorporates a fully equipped gym and the program has been running for three months. Currently 20-30 men are enrolled, participating in a supervised and structured exercise program three mornings a week.

Even though the program has only been running for a short time, members are already reporting positive health outcomes such as reductions in blood sugar levels, better balance and encouragement to do extra exercise such as daily walking.

Learn more about Men’s Shed and find a location near you. 

 

Learn more about community projects supported by the Medibank Community Fund.

Recommended reading - Issue Two Summer 2012

Experts

What you can do to reduce your risk of dementia

Being socially active, managing weight and exercising are some ways to reduce the risk of dementia.

Read more
Travel

Active travel in the great outdoors

We share some of our favourite things to do in America's incredible national parks.

Read more
Experts

Cutting your cancer risk

A diet rich in unprocessed grains and meats, fruits and veggies can reduce your risk of cancer.

Read more
Experts

Sun safety: How to protect your skin this summer

Keep your skin safe and healthy while you're enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

Read more
Community

Expert advice to help you swim, bike, run

Danielle Stefano from the Victorian Institute of Sport shares some advice for your first triathlon.

Read more
Travel

Hitting the road with your pet

Bringing your pet with you on a trip makes exploring new surrounds double as fun!

Read more
Travel

Auckland – Top 10 city to visit in 2014

Making Lonely Planet's 'Best In Travel' for 2014, we highlight the best spots to visit in Auckland.

Read more
Recipes

Vietnamese salad recipe

A fresh, healthy summer salad that’s perfect for lunches.

Read more
Recipes

Simple berry bircher recipe

A bircher muesli that takes 2 minutes to prepare - leave overnight and enjoy for breakfast.

Read more
Community

A chef’s travels with Peter Kuruvita

Peter shares his most memorable food experience and what inspires his cooking over summer.

Read more
Recipes

Barbecued island beef recipe

A dish inspired by coconuts and green pastures

Read more
Lifestyle

Salsa verde recipe

This classic condiment by Peter Kuruvita is great with anything, especially barbecued meat

Read more
Lifestyle

Snapping the journey

There’s nothing like travelling the world and documenting the journey.

Read more
Community

The history of the ambulance

Medibank health humorist Nick Snelling explores the history of the ambulance.

Read more
Recipes

Cucumber and corn salsa recipe

A refreshing corn salsa perfect for summer.

Read more
Community

Double power in the kitchen: Isabella and Sofia Bliss

Talented twins share summer favourites and why it’s important for children to grow up cooking.

Read more
Recipes

Prawn ravioli with tomato, rocket and lemon sauce recipe

A mouth-watering prawn ravioli recipe from junior Masterchef stars.

Read more
Lifestyle

Protect your pet this summer

RSPCA shares its top tips for keeping your pet safe this summer.

Read more
Experts

Chinese medicine for the four seasons: Summer

Advice from Dr. Katie Molloy on how to make a healthy transition from spring to summer.

Read more
Community

Made by athletes for athletes

2XU co-founder Jamie Hunt talks about product development and changes in compression technology.

Read more
Experts

9 post-exercise recovery tips

Professor David Cameron-Smith shares nine simple ways to reduce muscle pain and speed up recovery.

Read more
Experts

The importance of bowel cancer screening

How a simple test can help detect bowel cancer, one of the most preventable forms of cancer.

Read more
Recipes

Pettole (Italian fruit donuts) recipe

A delicious treat by Junior Masterchef stars Sofia and Isabella Bliss

Read more
Community

Swim, bike, run this summer

From Caloundra to Latrobe, discover the events that can help you get ready for triathlon season.

Read more
Travel

Auckland’s east and west

Beyond Auckland’s city limits, there is so much waiting for you to explore.

Read more
Community

Your first triathlon: Tips from Brendan Sexton

Olympian Brendan Sexton shares some helpful advice for your first triathlon.

Read more
Community

Healing hands

Four surgeons across four medical specialties reveal their tools of the trade.

Read more
Community

Health matters with Ita Buttrose

Ita Buttrose raises awareness of the importance of good health.

Read more
Community

Music and the mind with Something for Kate

Paul Dempsey shares how he handles the mental and physical pressures of being a musician.

Read more
Community

Australian Open

A highlight of the sporting calendar, the Australian Open is set to thrill spectators once again.

Read more
Community

Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironman & Ironwoman Series

Watch top athletes from around the country compete in one the world's most gruelling competitions.

Read more
Community

Putting on a grand slam

Craig Tiley reveals what goes on behind the scenes to host an event like the Australian Open.

Read more
Lifestyle

Latest health and lifestyle gadgets

Keep your finger on the pulse with these health and lifestyle gadgets.

Read more
Lifestyle

Health shelf – Lisa Weightman

Whether it's on the track or in the office, Lisa Weightman knows how to set—and reach—her goals.

Read more
Lifestyle

Visualising health with Courtney Hancock

Courtney Hancock comes from stellar sporting history and is the 2011 Australian Ironwoman champion.

Read more
In Brief

be. magazine Summer 2012

The summer edition of Medibank be. magazine is here to inspire, motivate and encourage.

Read more
Community

Nike+ SportsWatch GPS

Medibank member Kim reviews the Nike+ SportWatch GPS.

Read more
Community

A couple of sports stars – Trent Copeland and Kim Green

Competitive even in marriage, Kim Green and Trent Copeland have learned to love each other's sport.

Read more
Community

Working to achieve better health

People who undertake jobs that contribute to a healthier life find fulfilment in them.

Read more
In Brief

Health Parks, Healthy People

Summer is a great time to exercise in our many leafy parks and urban gardens.

Read more
In Brief

Watsi

How you can donate life-saving medical treatments to people in need.

Read more
In Brief

Bright Hearts

Design and medicine combine to help sick kids.

Read more
Community

Unpacking the role of a dietitian

What is a consultation with a dietician like?

Read more
In Brief

Super-sized soda ban in New York

Bigger is apparently not better as super sized sodas are banned in New York.

Read more
Community

Celebrate Health

A healthy flavoursome teriyaki sauce without the added nasties.

Read more
Lifestyle

Health Shelf – Jenna O’Hea

Jenna O'Hea discusses some of her favourite books, from inspirational memoirs to fantasy novels.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.