Monash Men’s Shed is located at Glen Waverley, about 20 kilometres south east of Melbourne. We asked Shed Co-ordinator Aden Green for an update on how Shedders are coping with lockdown.
Here’s a little update on how life is treating us here in Melbourne – or rather how we’re responding to it.
The second lockdown has already taken a heavy toll on our membership. There are clear signs of COVID fatigue despite the fact that the majority of our Shedders are in the “at risk” age group and many have additional health concerns.
We feel that this has only added to the sense of isolation that many of us are feeling. The more so for those of us who live alone and with family outside the 5km travel limit.
This has lead to all sorts of ingenuity being adopted so that we can retain that sense of camaraderie that the Shed provides.
We received a grant to help those without access to the internet to acquire the skills needed as well as being able to borrow some iPads from the Shed so that we are able to communicate with each other both more quickly and via face-time.
We have also received funding to provide active IT support to those who need it.
Our IT Guru works 10 hours per week and, prior to the lockdown, organised group sessions at the shed for the ‘Computer Club’.
When the second lockdown we introduced we moved to having these group IT support sessions via Zoom.
It soon became clear that other Shed members wished to join in the Zoom sessions so this was expanded to a second session per week.
Our IT Guru has also been tasked with producing a weekly round up of Shed news and news that we think would be of interest to our members.
Here’s a link to our latest:
The Monash Men’s Shed has been in a fortunate position during this lockdown as it coincided with the employment our new Shed Co-Ordinator (me).
It has not been possible for me to work from home during this time — I need to learn the work systems of the Shed as well as the key movers and shakers who keep the wheels turning. One of the unforeseen consequences of this has been that there have been one or two guys each day who have dropped in — on their exercise period — ostensibly to find out when we will re-open, or to borrow a piece of equipment etc.
But it has become clear that these are sometimes merely the excuses used so that we can have some interaction with another human being in an environment that they know to be safe and welcoming.
Though those who have dropped in hoping to use a piece of equipment here at the Shed, have gone away disappointed (but we have loaned out equipment as has been appropriate).
Now that we’re hoping to be soon released from this lockdown, we are quietly working to get the Shed in order so that we can return to near normal as quickly as we can.
So there are a few pieces of urgent maintenance that we wish to complete — we need to evict a family of possums that have taken up residence — and we are finalising our COVID-19 Safety Action Plan.
So this is a snapshot of where we’re up to. I’m not sure if this is helpful or if you think it may be used in some format as an example of COVID creativity.
Kind regards from Monash Men’s Shed Co-ordinator Aden Green (pictured below at his jewellery work bench doing some fine tolerance filing)
How is your Shed going? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org