According to the Australian Men’s Shed Association, one major objective is ‘to advance the health and well-being of their male members and to encourage social inclusion’. There is an ideal place for this to happen – it is located at the most southern end of the Pottsville markets.
This site is centrally located in a community hub (the Pottsville Community Neighbourhood Centre) where men can share ideas and benefit from what the other facilities have to offer. These facilities include: a technology centre, which provides tuition and use of equipment; a second-hand goods and furniture shop with easy access to materials for Men’s Shed projects; and a medical centre for men to seek medical assistance and be encouraged to pursue healthy lifestyle options.
A Men’s Shed is consistent with the existing use of the market site, as it can easily incorporate an outlet to sell their goods whilst the markets are operating, avoiding costs to lease retail premises. It is also close to the nearly completed Catholic School and the Pottsville Primary School in order to provide mentoring programs to Pottsville’s youth. Mentoring could also be included in existing youth activities at the PCNC.
There are many social interaction opportunities at nearby cafes, shops and the RSL. Because of its central, visible position, there would be minimal security risks and the Men’s Shed could share security surveillance costs with the other facilities at the PCNC. Proximity to the markets would give the Men’s Shed a public presence, ensuring strong awareness of its existence and purpose. Their accessibility and visibility within the community would encourage new membership.
I hope that the community puts their support behind this ideal location so that the Pottsville and District Men’s Shed can be an integral, vibrant, easily accessible asset of the Pottsville village centre, from which everyone can benefit.
Lyn Dickinson, Pottsville