THE new Fremantle Men’s Shed in Hilton is open for business.
Although the official shindig is still a few weeks away, president Bill Johnston says the sheddies got their new home next to the Hilton Bowling Club together in a whirlwind, and already the air’s filled with the roar of electric drills and blokes sharing a joke.
Since moving in, they’ve negotiated a deal with the Bowling Club to swap a couple of sea containers for a small building next door, which they’re converting into a band practice room and craft studio.
Mr Johnston says getting the shed together so quickly meant that he was able to put in a submission for a $100,000 grant from the Fremantle Foundation. If successful, the grant money will be used to pay for tutors so they can expand their courses and offer them to other service providers around town.
Sheddie Alex Marshall says these programs will help build on what the shed does best; bringing people together to get them reconnected to the community.
“We’ve got SMYL who’ve got 10 older Aboriginal men that they’re busting to get down here, and the amazing thing will be watching them do the courses beside these guys and pretty soon they’ll end up as friends.
“The key to it is to get to that point that people no longer see themselves as participants in a program, but a member of something bigger.”
by STEVE GRANT