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Kerrabee Men’s Group: Strengthening men’s health and wellbeing

Published on 13 June 2018
Categories:
  • Community
  • Health and wellbeing
Kerrabee-mens-shed.jpg David Kaufman hasn’t looked back since joining Kerrabee’s Men’s Group two years ago.

David Kaufman says he’d be lonely and lost without his one-day-a-week “gig” with the Kerrabee Centre Men’s Group.

“It’s been a lifesaver for me”, says the 67-year-old stroke survivor.

Having suffered four strokes, the first when he was aged only 20, has resulted in the loss of use of his left arm.

“And I’m left-handed,” he jokingly adds, as he uses his right hand to deftly apply a coat of varnish to a timber wheelbarrow made by one of the other group participants.

Mr Kaufman has been attending the Men’s Group (formerly the Men’s Shed) every Monday for the past two years.

He first heard about the group from a mate and decided he’d give it a go to see what all the fuss was about.

He hasn’t looked back.

“It gives you a sense of belonging and companionship, especially as I was getting lonely at home,” he says.

“I’ve made two coffee tables, with a little help mind you, and it’s been good. There’s a real sense of achievement.”

Not only has he seen a change in himself since joining, but so too has his family.

“They’ve noticed a bit of a change in me. It’s been a lifesaver for me – just one day a week has made a big difference.”

And while Mr Kaufman prefers to tinker around in the ‘shed’ doing woodwork, other members are just as happy to sit and talk amongst each other.

The men are welcome to work on a woodworking project of their choice in their own time, and decide on outings and activities – all in the spirit of mateship.

Kerrabee also offers a quiet, spacious setting and peaceful gardens, which the men also help to maintain.

As part of Men’s Health Week 11-17 June 2018, men are being encouraged to start a conversation about their health and wellbeing with someone they trust.

Men’s Health Week is an annual campaign aimed to raise public awareness of male health nationally and internationally. It also aims to improve the delivery of health and wellbeing services, as well as increasing men’s awareness of their own health, wellbeing and relationships.

How to get involved

The Kerrabee Men’s Group program is for men aged 65 and over. It meets once a week on a Monday, from 10am to 2.30pm, at the Kerrabee Centre, 3-5 Louisa Street, Croydon.

The program is run by Maroondah Council staff and volunteers who are warm and friendly, and who encourage and support participants to meet and socialise with others.

Members can organise to be picked up and dropped off in one of Kerrabee’s air-conditioned buses, or they can organise their own transport.

Cost is $7.60 per visit, or $15.90 which includes a Meals on Wheels three-course lunch.

For more information on Kerrabee’s Men’s Group, or to arrange a free visit, please phone Council’s Social Inclusion and Wellbeing team on 9294 5531 or pick up a free brochure at one of Maroondah Council’s services centres.

For more information about Men’s Health Week, visit their website

Men’s Groups can benefit men in many ways

Aside from the social aspect, Men’s Groups offer men emotional support, personal growth and other benefits including:

  • help to regain a sense of purpose in life
  • enhance self-esteem
  • decrease social isolation
  • facilitate friendship and companionship
  • provide an environment conducive to learning
  • improve physical and mental health
  • increase awareness of depression and anxiety
  • having a circle of men to discuss things they might not be able to discuss with anyone else.
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