Mens Shed proves there is life after retirement

The recently opened Castle Hill Men’s Shed in northwestern Sydney’s The Hills Shire is proving that there really is life after retirement.

The shed offers local men a chance to partake in woodworking and metal work for both home projects and the community.

Participants have recently started making children’s toys and small items of furniture.

Open two days a week, the shed is aimed at the older male demographic, enabling them to make new friends and continue to learn new skills after retirement.

Councillor Raymond Harty said the shed offers general opportunities for the older community.

“When you retire from work, you do not retire from life,” he said. “The Men’s Shed provides a communal space for older men to gather, socialise and enjoy activities such as woodwork, metal work and furniture restoration.”

The shed was built through a partnership between Council, Castle Hill Rotary and the Men’s Shed Committee.

The men helped clean and paint the shed, which was originally an old scout hall. It now has around
40 members, around half of whom are veterans. The average membership age is 70 years.

Men’s Shed President Peter Maher said it allows members to socialise in a relaxed and fun environment.

“The guys have been socialising well, and there is a lot of wisdom in 70 years,” he said. “They can help each other out with projects and make new friends at the same time. The shed operates in three different ways.

One third of the day is spent working on projects for home or family. The second third is spent working for the community, community projects and equipment, and the final third of the day is spent maintaining the shed building itself.

The membership fee is
$100 for the year and includes insurance, as well as access to all machinery and materials needed for building projects.

The shed initially received a $35,000 grant from Council, which enabled the restoration of the shed building, as well as the purchase of appropriate materials to complement the wide range of equipment that was donated.

On top of this, the shed received a $5,000 grant from the Federal Government to purchase storage cabinets, chairs and a commercial vacuum cleaner.