HMAS Albatross Commanding Officer, Captain Gordon Andrew presented representatives of the Nowra Veterans and Community Men's Shed with a cheque for $600, which will assist the Nowra Men’s Shed in their aim to improve men’s health and well-being by creating opportunities for social interaction among men and raising awareness of men’s health issues.
The money was raised by participants of the annual Albatross ‘Tour the T’. This event has two aims, fun and fundraising; and it allows Albatross personnel the rare opportunity to run or walk the T-shaped airfield runway while raising money for a local charity.
Captain Andrew said one of the reasons the Nowra Veterans and Community Men's Shed was chosen as the 2013 charity was because the event was programmed to coincide with Mental Health Week.
“It seemed like a very good match as the aims of Mental Health Week and the Men’s Shed program are very similar.
“They both work to promote social and emotional wellbeing, help those who may be a little isolated to connect with others, expand horizons by providing opportunities to try something new that creates meaning and purpose, and they provide valuable opportunities to make new friends,” he said.
Men’s Shed Coordinator John Wassikiw said the donation from Albatross was much appreciated as it would enable them to open the shed one extra day a week with a program tailored specifically for people with disabilities.
“We’ll be working one on one, tailoring activities such as woodworking to individual capabilities and we’ll also use some of this money to modify the shed to suit any special needs”.
John said there were many benefits to being a Men’s Shed member.
“We currently have 25 members, and offer a range of activities such as gardening, leadlight and welding. My own expertise is making small blackboards and cars which we send to orphanages and I spend most of my time doing that. It’s a great day out, no one is pressured into anything, you just do what you can for whatever amount of time you can,” he said.