9 April 2020 at 10:09 am #2324
Hi from Willo’s Men’s Shed in Willaston/Gawler in Adelaide, South Australia.
I know many sheds have a mentoring program where they work with schools on projects. Some of these are for a few weeks at a time.
At Willo’s, we run a program for ‘At-risk youths.’ We meet on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The boys take one day off school and work at the shed, one on one with a mentor. We currently have three lads who have issues such as, Autism, Aspergers and ADHD.
I was wondering if other sheds have a similar program in place.
We started the program in January 2019 with one lad. He is in his second year now and is loving every minute of it. He attends on a Friday in place of a school day. He has gained so much from the shed, but most importantly, the shed and the members have grown as well.
The other two boys started in January 2020. One attends on Monday, and the other attends on Wednesday.
They assist members with their projects, but most importantly, they make gifts for their family members as well.16 April 2020 at 11:48 am #2422
I received a call from one of the boys we mentor at the shed. He is missing the shed so much and he can’t wait until we go back.
He told me about a project he is working on, it is a mud kitchen that is suitable for kindergartens or primary schools. I have seen some of the projects he has made at home and I was amazed at the quality of the work and effort he puts into them. I think the mud kitchen will be up there with his other projects.
His Mum is very proud of her son and mentioned to me one day, you have sent the wrong boy home, he used to arrive home from school, run into his room and grab his iPad and play it all night. Now, he gets home, runs into his room, gets changed and goes to the shed to work. We have to call him in for his dinner, and when that is over, he is back to the shed.5 May 2020 at 12:49 pm #2523
G’Day Mark… There will be a story about the first young lad we invited to join us in our ‘At Risk Youths’ program. This will be in the May edition of the Cymru newsletter. They have posted a link to their first two newsletters and they are well worth reading. I have left the name of the young lad out simply because we now have 4 other young men in the shed and this post is about how to set up the program.
Details listed below.
1. After the initial contact made by our first young man’s mother, it took nearly 2 months to get the program up and running. I had been a scout leader for 30 years and I enjoyed working with young people, so it was an easy decision to make for me to run the ‘youths at-risk program’
Note. Each state or country may have different requirements. You may find the information on your countries Men’s Shed Association site.
2. The first task was to visit the school that the boy went to and from there, we set about renewing my national police clearance to work with vulnerable people. We knew this was going to take approximately 6 weeks for the clearance to come through, so we set about designing the program so we had it in place to start as soon as the clearance came through. The school paid my $90 application fee.
Note. The school holds a copy of my clearances in their records.5 May 2020 at 12:50 pm #2525
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3. We designed a ‘Training Book’ that we could give the boys and this would record the following for him
a. Days they attended the shed.
b. Machines they were taught and are proficient on.
c. Projects they have worked on.
d. A page with important contact details for the shed, and some interesting links to check out.
e. A page where they could record any details they had to take home to their parents.
4. I looked for the first project we could give the boys, something easy and something they could take home on their first visit. The project is a simple cube in a cube. Click the link below to take you to a YouTube video that shows how to make one.
This project served 2 purposes, one was to give them something simple to make and the other was to give us a chance to talk informally whilst making it.
Mystery Cube in a Cube.
5. We introduce the boys to the rest of the members slowly. Some of the boys have shyness issues and we didn’t want to overwhelm them on their first day.
I also took time out with them on the first day and told them about myself and what I have done as far as work and what I did for fun. This relaxes them enough to talk about themselves.
I also told them I would not shout at them, but if they do hear me shout, it is for their safety. This they understood.5 May 2020 at 12:51 pm #2526
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6. Because the school paid for my police check ($90), we had to find a way of funding any other member that wished to help with the program. The link below takes you to the South Australian Police web site. It is an application for a VOAN number (Volunteer Organisation Application Number). This would make the check free of charge instead of the $90
Application for a VOAN number.
Note. Once again, each state or country will have different requirements.
7. Each of the boys has issues like Autism, Dyslexia, ADHD, or Asperger’s. This means they could be covered by NDIS funding (National Disability Insurance Scheme).
We made sure we invoiced NDIS for each boy’s time at the shed, and we received funding according to how much was allocated for each boy.
This also allowed us to waive the fees for anything the boys make and take home.
Keep in mind, the parents may ask you to write a progress report so they can seek further funding for their son. This is because of NDIS reviews each boy’s case every twelve months.
Note. It may differ from state to state, and other countries. Take the time to check out what is on offer to your shed to help run a program such as this.5 May 2020 at 1:06 pm #2528
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That is pretty much it. I do know that our shed, Willo’s Men’s Shed, has grown because of involving the boys in this program. Some of the members take the time to show the boy’s how to make things and the boys have learnt to work with others, something that will stand them well when they are old enough to start work.
One of the boys asked me about the training book. He asked, can I use this as part of my reference when I apply for a job. My answer was simple, Why Not.
If you decide to introduce a program like this in your shed, I wish you the best, because it is very rewarding to see the boys grow into confident young men.6 May 2020 at 8:15 am #2536
A little birdy showed me yesterday what to do to embed a video into a post I make. Here goes.
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/TfV_APBk16Q” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>6 May 2020 at 8:28 am #2539
I guess that didn’t work.
Never mind. I have found a program in England that may support a Men’s Shed working with boys with autism.
This came from a quick google search, so there may be a program suitable for where you are.6 May 2020 at 8:42 am #2541
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/TfV_APBk16Q" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>7 May 2020 at 9:53 am #2546
I have tried to embed a video from youtube, just like clive has done. I have checked Clive’s embed code against mine and there is no difference to the HTML code other than the description of the video. So, I am not sure what is happening with the above 2 posts.
10 May 2020 at 8:04 am #2570
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by Dave Clarke.
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