The Shedder Autumn 2020 Edition – Out Now
4 May 2020
The last few months have been like no other as we have all had to deal with COVID-19.
As an organisation we have had to quickly move our operations online, which I’m sure you can acknowledge has been a challenge. Men’s Sheds are very much an “in-person” activity, but this new way of delivering value has been thrust upon us, and we’re doing our best to quickly adapt and find new ways to support the ongoing development of the Men’s Shed movement.
As you may know, we’ve recently introduced “The Shed Online” as one part of our strategy to keep as many of you as connected as possible. This week we launch another phase of this program: “The Shed Wireless”.
The Shed Wireless is a weekly podcast, intended to be an informal exploration of all things Men’s Sheds. For now, you can listen to episodes of The Shed Wireless at mensshed.org/theshedwireless. You’ll be able to listen from “wherever you get your podcasts” very soon.
AMSA staff have also been conducting hundreds of “welfare calls” to member Men’s Sheds.
These calls aim to check in on how individual sheds, and their members, are coping with the situation. We are also encouraging Shed Committees to make similar calls to all of their members (which many are doing). This program this has been hugely successful and I wish to acknowledge all of the good work being done by Men’s Shed Committees in looking after the welfare of their members.
As we move through weeks of reasonably strict social isolation measures, some states have seen recent relaxation of social distancing. Subsequently, we have received numerous enquiries asking (you can probably guess…) when can we get back to the Shed?
Unfortunately, we still don’t have the answer. But, we continue to liaise with Federal and State Governments and monitor the situation. The relaxation of social distancing does not include the reopening of Men’s Sheds at this stage.
We will continue to keep you updated with any information as it comes to us.
We are however, already looking forward to our “post COVID-19” world.
We’ve commenced work on a number of resources for Men’s Sheds to use as guidelines when we are all allowed back in the Sheds. We expect there will be health advice and distancing measures applied to any gatherings of people for some time to come.
These resources will be available once Sheds have been permitted by authorities to reopen, and we have a clearer understanding of distancing restrictions will be advised.
We’re also working on a larger piece of work.
Following the turmoil of the past few months there is a much bigger question at hand… what will Men’s Sheds look like in a post COVID-19 world?
This is a question I am personally putting to the entire Men’s Shed community via The Shed Online for discussion and ideas. Click here to visit The Shed Online and participate in the conversation.
With anticipated higher unemployment I believe there will be increased demand for participation in Men’s Sheds. And there will be a number of new opportunities for Sheds to increase membership and to attract younger men.
There will be a greater need for activities that will socially engage men, and possibilities for training and educational programs.
There will also be new opportunities for Sheds to strengthen their community links and partnerships with external organisations.
However, as with all opportunities, there also comes risks and threats but these can be overcome if we accept change and plan our way forward effectively.
We would like to hear your opinions and ideas on how Men’s Sheds can overcome the obstacles and shine in adapting to a post COVID-19 environment. I encourage as many of you to participate in this constructive discussion over at The Shed Online.
Talk to you soon.