Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke visited Cootamundra Men’s Shed on Wednesday to see how the members have been promoting Men’s Health Week.

The group provides health and wellbeing support for men by creating an environment where they can work on practical projects and gain the benefits of social interaction.

The aim of Men’s Sheds complements Men’s Health Week by enabling members to feel free to share their views on physical and mental health.

“Cootamundra Men’s Shed is a wonderful group of 34 guys who roll their sleeves up and get stuck in to practical projects such as restoring or making furniture, giving them the opportunity to discuss personal issues which they might otherwise keep to themselves,” Ms Cooke said.

“During Men’s Health Week the group held a series of activities which focused on specific health areas, and it was fantastic to drop in and see how enthusiastically the members had grasped this opportunity.

“I can’t overstate the importance of open discussion about any area of health, which for many is a difficult thing to do. Cootamundra Men’s Shed provides a social and enjoyable environment for men of all ages to come together for a bit of a chat and an opportunity to unburden themselves.”

The group meets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 9am to noon, every week. During Men’s Health Week there was an activity each day which highlighted a specific area of health.

John Ashcroft from Cootamundra Men’s Shed’s said the activities were well attended and generated such interest that time schedules had to be revised.

“We usually get about 15 members during a regular weekday, where they talk about their hobbies, their worries or their health,” Mr Ashcroft said.

“During Men’s Health Week we had a visit from Dr Willie Offermeier on Tuesday who talked to us about melanoma and skin cancer. He was going to give us a 10-minute talk but he ended up staying with us for an hour, which was very much appreciated by the members, who found it something of an eye-opener.

“On Wednesday we invited people to have a look at what we do as well as the vintage cars which the Cootamundra Antique Motor Club brought along, while on Thursday we had a visit from Maree Archer, a Credentialled Diabetes Educator, who talked to us for an hour again, telling us about diabetes, which can be an issue for our older members.”