Sunshine Coast Hinterland men will soon have a new place to socialise, support each other and contribute to the community with the beginning of construction on the long-awaited Mooloolah Valley Men’s Shed. The new Shed, paid for by a Federal Government grant of $250,000, is being constructed on land behind the existing Mooloolah Valley Community Centre.
Turning the first sod this morning Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said that this was a big moment for hundreds of local people.
“When I first heard from Bernie and Anita Verwayen that more than 300 local residents had been in touch with them to ask for a Men’s Shed to be built in Mooloolah Valley it was clear that the community was crying out for this. Mooloolah Valley needed its own Men’s Shed, and in John, Bernie, Anita and the Community Centre Committee they had the most passionate advocates you could ever ask for! I was proud to be able to help.” Mr Wallace said.
“Like many of us during this COVID crisis, older men in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland have faced severe social isolation this year. However, for men in regional communities the opportunities to find a place where they belong, can make a contribution to their community, and talk to people like them in a familiar environment can be few and far between. Today we have taken a major step forward in changing that in Mooloolah Valley and helping to support the mental and physical health of local men. The results will be felt in families all across our region” he said.
The new building will include workstations for a variety of wood and metal working equipment as well as social spaces.
Mooloolah Valley Men’s Shed President John Holland said “The members of the shed are eagerly looking forward to beginning construction of the new building. Internal fit-out will be carried out by the members themselves as their very first project. It is especially appropriate that the first sod is being turned this week because it is National Men’s Shed Week!” The nearest existing Men’s Sheds are in Glasshouse Mountains and Maleny.
Mr Wallace said that this project carries even more meaning during the COVID pandemic.
“I made a commitment during the 2019 Federal election to fund this Men’s Shed because I knew what a big difference it would make for this community. However, as we deliver on this commitment today, the project has become more important than ever. During this on-going COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, this project will not only provide local men with mateship and a home away from home, but it is going to provide much needed work for local tradies too.” he said.
For more information about the Mooloolah Valley Community Centre and the Men’s Shed project visit www.mooloolahcommunitycentre.org.