GALLERY: New era for Callan Men's Shed

The group currently has 12 members but the ideal amount would be a minimum of 20 people

Darren Hassett

Reporter:

Darren Hassett

Email:

darren.hassett@kilkennypeople.ie

The innovative Men's Shed in Callan has been donated a prefab and they are looking for volunteers to help them restore the structure which is at the back of the Family Resource Centre in the town.

It will be a new era for the group – which currently boasts 12 members – with the project expected to be completed within the next four months.

Chairman of the Men's Shed, Peter O'Brien, said: “We've a tutor starting from September 7 and he will give us 12 weeks tuition teaching us basic carpentry, how to use electrical tools, basic health and safety.

“I had a dream for the men's shed nine years ago and it's taken us this long to get to where we are.”

The new prefab will have a tea room, a little kitchen, a workshop, benches, tools and they will “make things to go out into the community”.

They've already supplied bird boxes and bat boxes to Windgap Tidy Village.

Mr O'Brien said: “The prefab is there a year. We received a €2,750 donation from the Sisters of Charity which is like a million euros to us. It was a terrific boast. We're now moving forward.

“Hopefully it will be up and running in four months and it will encourage more local men to come in and take advantage of what's offered here.

“We meet on Thursdays at 2pm but we're moving it to Friday at 2pm and it will last until 5pm for a new start, a new beginning.”

The group currently has 12 members but the ideal number would be a minimum of 20 people.

Mr O'Brien added: “People can get isolated and here they get a cup of tea, tell stories, paint, have a chat, play board games or musical instruments.

“We've a member who is 83 years old and he plays the mouth organ.”

Eddie Kennedy, a member of the Men's Shed, described it as a “social outlet” and he talked about their breakfast morning every Friday where a full Irish can be bought for €2 and then they play boccia bowling.

Chairman of the board at the Family Resource Centre on West Street, Bill Gardiner, said: “They are looking for volunteers to renovate and restore it.”

The group got a prefab from a factory in Templemore.

He said: “They got a truck with a crane on it to lift it into place. They're working on it bit by bit and are trying to get it finished.

“The participants have made a lot of window baskets for flowers and Supervalu were giving them pallets and they chopped them up for kindling and Supervalu sold them and the men's shed got something back too.

“Women talk face to face and men talk shoulder to shoulder if there working on something they'll talk to each other.

“It's on the grounds of the Family Resource Centre which has been leased by the Christian Brothers. We've been in there for the last two years.”

The facility has a counsellor and also offers family support.