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Hear from 2019 Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities grant recipient: Pittsworth Men’s Shed

About

  • Category

    • Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities
    • News
  • Date

    02 July, 2020

  • Location

    Darling Downs, Queensland

  • QLD map

About

Category

  • Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities
  • News

Date

02 July, 2020

Location

Darling Downs, Queensland

For those stepping foot into the Pittsworth Men’s Shed for the first time, they may be forgiven for being surprised at how well equipped the facility is.
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Stocked with a range of tools, from woodwork to metalwork and everything in-between, the Men’s Shed, like those across Australia, exists primarily to support the mental and physical health and wellbeing of its members. 
 
It’s a mission that President of the Pittsworth Men's Shed, Merv Hinneberg, says is critical for the men of the district. 
 
“I think any town that has a Men's Shed is a very strong town, and we are very active in the community,” he says. 
 
“For instance, at the recent Show we manned the gates for two days as a service to the Show Society. 
 
“We do a lot of restoration of furniture, as well as outdoor furniture for different groups in the town, and we also do some contract restoration and construction. 
 
“Our motto is that we work shoulder to shoulder to assist some of these guys that may have mental health issues or physical difficulties and whatever may be. And it seems to work. We are getting the message across.” 
 
In the last six years the group has built up from a single shed and 12 members to now having over 60 members and a number of sheds set up for specific activities. Most recently, in 2018 they opened a new metalwork shed, which is already housing new equipment such as metal lathes and sandblasters. 
 
“Up until now, the sort of stuff our members can do has only been limited by the amount or type of equipment we've had,” Merv says. 
 
“We've been fortunate to be able to put some equipment in here and there's more coming that will broaden the scope of things that guys can do, from all types of metalwork through to woodworking, wooden furniture restoration and more.” 
 
Running such a fast growing and successful organisation takes resources also, and that’s where the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities grant program has come into play. Having been successfully nominated by a local cotton grower as a worthy recipient, the Men’s Shed received $5,000 to invest in a computer system. 
 
“We found out about the grant through the local paper, and we were fortunate that one of our members' sons is a cotton grower not far out of Pittsworth, and he was more than happy to put us forward as a candidate for a grant. And I've got to tell you, we were very pleased to be able to receive that grant too,” Merv says. 
 
“We put in a computer system with a printer and scanner and all the bells and whistles and our Secretary and Treasurer uses it to run the organisation. 
Pittsworth Mens shed

The organisation was successfully nominated as an ACFGC recipient in 2019 and used the $5,000 grant to invest in a new computer system


“Importantly, we also plan to use it as a learning tool further down the track, showing members how they can improve their skills on the computer. So, it's already been a very valuable asset to us.” 

With such impressive success in recent years, it’s obvious the Men’s Shed in Pittsworth is providing a much-needed and critical role in the local community. However, that doesn’t mean Merv and his committee plan on slowing down anytime soon. 

“I’d like to see us continue to improve our facilities, and I believe once we get all this new equipment up and going, it will encourage guys in the community that haven’t thought of coming to the Men’s Shed before, to come along,” he says. 

“I think there’s a lot of guys out in the community, maybe just at retiring age, and maybe with skills as fitter and turners, or boilermakers and welders, or retired builders, who could be interested. 

“We’re getting equipment that’s going to place us as one of the better sheds definitely in the Darling Downs, if not in Queensland.”

About

Category

  • Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities
  • News

Date

02 July, 2020

Location

Darling Downs, Queensland

QLD map