Appin Men’s Shed to get new digs

Appin Men's Shed members Alan James, Gordon Usher, Ray Slee, Graham Turner, John Wisby and Ralph Irvine are thrilled they will have a new shed. Picture: Chris Lane
Appin Men's Shed members Alan James, Gordon Usher, Ray Slee, Graham Turner, John Wisby and Ralph Irvine are thrilled they will have a new shed. Picture: Chris Lane

Appin Men’s Shed will finally have the proper facilities after they received a $35,000 federal government grant.

Secretary Ray Slee said the members were “really excited” to receive the money.

“Some of our members are war veterans and we have never had a disabled toilet,” Mr Slee said.

“With the grant money we will build a new shed with a disabled toilet and shower, and an accessible kitchen.”

The new building will hopefully be built by September this year, if not earlier, with construction to start next month.

The members have been meeting in the tennis club room so they are looking forward to having their own space.

“I am sure the boys will enjoy a cup of tea and a biscuit after being in the workshop,” Mr Slee said.

The group currently only have a workshop where they store and use the industrial equipment.

“All our equipment is on wheels so we can move it and unfortunately we are restricted in what we can make because we don’t have much space,” Mr Slee said.

He said the members had been working on the grant application for a long time and were sure the money would be a “wonderful boost” for the club.

The group members wanted to thank Hume MP Angus Taylor and the federal government for awarding them the grant.

Mr Taylor congratulated the Appin Men’s Shed on securing the grant funding and he thanked them for their invaluable commitment to improving the lives of our veterans and their families.

“This is terrific news for the dedicated blokes with the Appin Men’s Shed who will use this grant funding to build facilities to help our veterans,” Mr Taylor said.

“We honour the service and sacrifice of the men and women who serve in defence of our country in many ways – and this grant program to help improve the quality of life for veterans and their families is an important one.”

The club has about 30 members and always encourage more members to join.

“We plan to recruit more members once the new shed is built, especially veterans so we can lend them physical and mental support,” Mr Slee said.

He said the group would ask BeyondBlue, the Black Dog Institute and nutritionists to come speak to the members once the new clubhouse was built.

“The shed is dedicated to improving men’s physical and mental health and we provide men with a sense of belonging,” Mr Slee said.

“Our members feel a sense of social inclusion and pride at the shed and it is a place where they can work on projects – we are a band of brothers.”

The group also do maintenance work around Appin to help out the community.

They have repaired window frames on an historic home – Beulah, they have built possum boxes for WIRES, they look after the Appin Mine Memorial park and do small maintenance jobs for a child care centre.

The men’s shed would eventually like to create a community garden for members and residents to grow fruit and vegetables.

Wollondilly Council has given the shed a block of community land to one day create the garden.