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Gisborne Men's Shed is Back!

3rd July 2020

Written by Ken Reither, Chairman of Gisborne Men's Shed

After a 10 week closure (which felt a lot longer for some), on 1 June we opened the Shed doors again. It was a nice surprise because we were expecting to be closed for a while longer.

Just as the federal and state governments are juggling our personal health on one hand and economic well-being on the other, the Shed committee faced a similar dilemma with respect to the health of our members.

We considered the impact to the mental health of those not being able to attend The Shed, as well as the risk to physical health due to COVID-19 when venturing out of the house. Because most of our members are in the “at-risk” age group, there was a lot of behind the scenes activity that took place to prepare for the reopening.

We assessed our potential risks, reviewed the government policies and took advice from the Australian Men’s Shed Association. With all of this information on board, we drafted a policy and procedure which was submitted for approval.

The five-member committee then had a video meeting with Kelly Milne and Bruce Webb (pictured below) to review the details of the proposed opening procedure, at the end of which we got the stamp of approval to reopen.

So this is our new normal. Anyone entering the Shed now must sanitise their hands and go through a temperature check and questionnaire, similar to what you get when visiting your GP. Once inside there are restrictions on numbers to ensure we maintain the required social distances and there are also additional hygiene measures for everyone to follow.

We have been surprised to see that all members have accepted the new processes and are adapting really well.

Even though throughout the closure we’ve been publishing a weekly newsletter as well as a lot of phone and internet communication between members, there’s no substitute for a face to face chat with a cuppa.

There are now many smiling faces at the Shed on Mondays and Thursdays, which is a positive sign of good mental health. Thanks to Kelly and Bruce for facilitating our return.

Find out more about the Gisborne Men's Shed here.