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Shed’s desperate plea for new home

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A place dedicated to the health and wellbeing of men in Newcastle is on the hunt for a new home for the third time in five years.

Newcastle Men’s Shed will need to vacate its current premises at 50 Clyde Street, Hamilton North, by the end of August.

After moving into the property, which was described as “very run down and not secure”, on an initial one-year lease, the group took on the challenge and brought it up to a standard where it could operate.

This included putting a ceiling in the building, painting and repairing holes in the walls, building and fitting new lockable doors, and pulling electrical wiring throughout the property.

Despite their hard work, the site’s landlord has opted not to renew the lease.

The shed claimed the improvements had reportedly made the premises possible to rent out at a full commercial rate, which was triple the present figure – something the group simply could not afford.

Public officer, Paul Schiebaan said it was desperate to find a suitable location within Newcastle for its 80-plus members.

“More and more men are moving into smaller homes and apartments, so the need to share a shed is really important,” he said.

Mr Schiebaan added the shed’s members undertook a range of activities, from helping each other with personal projects, to charity events and manufacturing and maintenance for organisations such as the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and the Hamilton Business Chamber.

“We enable men of all ages to socialise and participate in activities in practical ways that encourage the development of good health, self esteem and support for each other and the community in general,” he said.

“Depression and anxiety are a real issue for men, particularly those who are transitioning into, or in, retirement.

“The shed is a safe and welcoming environment – our aim is to improve the health and wellbeing of members and reduce the number of men who are at risk of preventable health issues that may emanate from isolation.”

The group is seeking a space of about 250 to 300 square metres, located within the inner-city suburbs of Newcastle, for the next one to two years.

During this time, it hopes to find funding and an appropriate site for the construction of its own shed.

The shed has also asked businesses and government organisations to partner with it and become a sponsor or contribute financial assistance to cover ongoing costs.

Visit newcastlemensshed.com for more information or to get in touch.

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