I just had to write about these guys! although my blogs are mainly stroke-related (well kinda!) I was invited to give a talk to promote stroke awareness (along with the lovely Sally Allen from my local stroke group) and told it was at the Men’s Shed! To be honest, I hadn’t a clue what to expect.
Well, I found it. Me and Sally walked round the back of this concrete building to find a ‘man cave’ full of blokes cutting and sanding wood; compressors and belt sanders going full pelt….I thought, “I’ve messed up here, this is a factory!” Then a guy said, “Yes, we’re the Men’s Shed.” (Northern branch.- there are 200 in Australia). Then it was explained to me by Chairman John Norman: “The Men’s Shed was set up for blokes to come together and work like blokes used to, sharing their problems in a bloke’s way – you know, woodwork, metalwork, etc.” (Not like girl’s do – no lippy here!). They make things for the public and less advantaged people, priding themselves on mateship.
Blokes there are dealing with losing families, marriage breakups, illness, loss – they all come together for each other.
It was such a warm place, like back in the army – comradeship and all that. But these guys had felt pain in so many ways. Talking to them was easy, they were on my page. I thought about how I was spreading awareness with my story and I was really inspired by them too.
I wanted to tell people about the Men’s Shed. WHAT AN AMAZING GROUP TO BE A MEMBER OF!
There are loads out there for women, but this was for blokes to do this things that blokes do together…make shit, serves purpose…we NEED that, it’s in our DNA!
Obviously, they have to run their club – electricity and stuff – so they all pay a membership fee. Hardly anything, just enough to cover the running costs – but no one gets paid, except in a different way – MATESHIP!!
Thanks for letting me off the Swearbox, guys! It just slipped out as it does in a working men’s environment…hahaha! You guys rock! An absolute pleasure.
So the message is, don’t think you’re alone. If you feel crushed by life, seek out your local Men’s Shed. It should be worldwide. Bet it will be soon!
UPDATE….have just received a copy of this email from John Corbett of the Men’s Shed to Sally Allen at my stroke group:
“Thank you and your team for the wonderful presentation regarding strokes, their effects and ways to reduce the risk.
We were all mesmerised at Peter’s (and Dean’s) story and so appreciated you bringing him along.”
The pleasure was all mine, guys!
UPDATE! Some of the mates have asked where they can get my book, ‘In the Blink of an Eye’ It’s available from Amazon (just Google it) & for more info just check out the link to my book at the top of the Homepage