With COVID-19 restrictions slowly easing across the region many local organisations like the Mareeba Men’s Shed can finally reopen their doors and welcome back their members.
The Men’s Shed is a non-for-profit organisation that has been operating in Mareeba for nearly 10 years and provides a place for local men to come and share their worries and stories all while keeping their minds and hands busy.
Mostly made up of retired members of the community, the men’s shed has had a continual guiding hand for many different organisations and projects within the community.
The members use the skills they have gained over their lifetime and the new ones they learn in the shed to assist the community with construction projects, furniture refurbishment and can even do personal quotes for locals.
The main crux however of not only the Mareeba Men’s Shed but also Men’s Shed’s around Australia, is to provide a safe and comfortable environment for men to talk about their issues with no judgement and to share with like-minded people, who eventually become friends.
From struggling through health issues, disabilities, losing a partner or even chasing away the black dog of depression, the Mareeba Men’s Shed provides a safe place for men to come and sit, have a cuppa, and leave all their worries at the door.
“Blokes get together, to talk about bloke things without having to worry about what they say or how they say it,” Mareeba Men’s Shed Vice President Kent Duffield said.
“It’s a place that allows men to feel comfortable; anything we do in the workshop is really a bonus.
“We have brought people back from the brink of suicide with the companionship and comradery that we offer.”
The Mareeba Men’s shed even offers talks and regular mental health check-ups at events like the Mareeba Rodeo and FNQ Field Days.
Mareeba Men’s Shed Secretary Roland Hill looks forward to coming to the Men’s Shed and spending time out of the house.
“It gives some of us a reason to get up in the morning,” he said.
“When you’ve been on this earth for 70 odd years you get a bit tired sometimes, but the Men’s Shed gives me the drive to get up and out of bed.
“Plus I get out of the house and out from under my wife’s feet which she enjoys.”
The Mareeba Men’s Shed open every Monday Wednesday and Thursday from 9am to 12pm and is located at the end of Lloyd St.
Men are more than welcome to come and join or just to have a chat and a cuppa, women are welcome as guests but cannot join as members.