Ballina Men's Shed look forward, not back
MARTY Leist, project manager of the Australian Men's Shed Association was in Ballina last week to encourage the local men's shed after what has been a very difficult year for the group.
More than 85 people attended the excellent 'Thank You Dinner' last Thursday evening despite the thunder storm outside. He praised the vibrant local group for being innovative and resilient in the face of significant recent setbacks.
The group is again without a suitable site to establish a permanent men's shed.
The Fishery Creek Road site leased from council for that purpose has after thorough investigation proved unsuitable.
A $77,500 grant from the Newcastle Permanent Foundation and a $70,000 grant from the State Government through the Community Builders Partnership Grant have both disappointingly had to be returned.
Furthermore, the Ballina Community Men's Shed Showroom Shop located at 95 Tamar Street will be closing by Christmas.
There will be a massive clearance sale of stock commencing next week and public support is invited.
Fresh from the AMSA National Conference in Newcastle where it was noted that there were now "more community men's sheds in Australia than McDonald's restaurants", he was surprised that a regional centre the size and demographic of Ballina had not got the full support of its civic leaders, despite numerous representations, for a first class facility accessible to all men.
A cause as important as this for men's health in this region deserves to be championed by community leaders.
Mayor David Wright who was present at the evening encouraged the group not to give up and that they should continue to again approach council and all avenues for land and funding.
Graham Eggins, the team leader for the local men's shed, thanked those who had worked so hard over recent years for the cause and encouraged the many supporters to strengthen the workshop group that meets at Southern Cross K-12 School Monday and Wednesday mornings, develop alternate market and online outlets for products and continue pressing for a future men's shed site and facility.