Ballina attracts an increasingly higher representation of males over 50 than other regional NSW districts. With coastal land being comparatively more expensive, downsizing means many guys lose their private tinkering workshop and retreat.
Over the past 7 ½ years the Ballina Community Men’s Shed has been operating there have been hundreds of enquiries, enormous public support and donations of materials and tools and community goodwill. The group has made over 200 jobs and helped many other community groups.
There is a clear demand not only for woodwork which we have had up to now, but also for metalwork, basic mechanical, electronics, computer, model building and many other interests. These spaces need to be done well to provide the essential safe working environment and one that provides access to all.
A purpose built Ballina Community Men’s Shed complex is envisaged on property at the Ballina Racecourse.
This colourbond construction will house designated woodwork, metalwork and basic mechanical workshop spaces, another sizeable flexible working space which could be used for electronics, computer, model building or other prominent skill set of members, another smaller meeting room which can be set up on the day, a tea room, lounge area, office and display room, storage, bathroom and undercover areas. Concept plans are still being finalised and approved at this stage.
The facility would be extensively used Monday to Saturday providing group sessions, providing extended and individual use, training, in the various sections with a primary focus on men but times also for women, mixed and adult/parent/child mentoring. When established it would be self-funding and provide community support.