THE FIRST YEAR
"This is what Peter Murphy wanted, this is what we all wanted."
After the official opening the Shed went through a stage of consolidation.
On reviewing the operations of the Shed a few significant points came to hand...
Peter Murphy stated that the floor equipment and hand tools were quite adequate, as were timber stocks and consumables.
The mentors had their responsibilities defined.
The number of participants was about up to comfortable levels and the procedures and documentation for their interviews and inductions had been decided on.
The gold coin per day donation was working well and participants were agreeable to this.
Without becoming “too commercial” payments were being received for many jobs carried out by the Shed.
Peter Murphy, in conjunction with CHESS, developed a Shed ‘hand out’ colour brochure.
The web site for the Shed, with guidance from CHESS, had been upgraded.
Peter had arranged for qualified medical people to come to the Shed and give talks on various aspects of men’s health.
The Steering Committee was holding its regular monthly meetings in the conference room at the Shed. These meetings continued to be chaired by John Mandile (General Manager of CHESS) and there was a balance of CHESS and Rotary members.
Paul Kelly from CHESS replaced Vicki Woodrow.
The committee was very aware of the CHESS funding of about $65,000 per year which was only in place until May 2012.
Many ideas for ongoing finance were discussed, finding a Patron, getting a Corporate sponsor, fundraising events, etc.
There was a perceived need for “new blood” to join the Committee with fresh ideas as well as expertise in fund raising.
The suggestion of getting our own land and building our own shed was gaining support.
Two high profile Coffs Harbour Rotarians, Dennis Martin (PCYC) and Neville Hillenberg (Shearwater Lodge) were invited to meetings but neither was prepared to join a fund raising committee. Both these men gave several suggestions for fund raising. The discussions on fund raising included continuing effort in applying for various grants, seeking assistance from “top end of town” business men (FLOT), placing “Grumpy Old Men” fund seeking boards in various businesses, etc.
The need of a professional video of the Shed’s activities to support fund raising was defined and the engagement of a professional fund raiser was considered.
It was decided the committee would meet on the first Wednesday of each month.
CHESS provided some preliminary financials of the Shed’s operations.
Efforts continue to form a cohesive fundraising sub committee continue.
Paul is arranging a meeting with Uniting Church.
AMSA is to be contacted for their advice.
Bunnings is to be contacted about their Saturday BBQ.
When asked by Paul, new committee man Tony Goninan confirmed our thinking that the Shed was fully operational and we should concentrate on financing and fundraising. We should do more to promote the Shed’s facilities to attract more support.
Tony recently visited the Junee Men’s Shed and was advised it’s mainstream funding was from the Uniting Church.
Paul said we should be more mindful of the “Stand alone Entity” that the Shed is and minimize the perception the Shed is funded by CHESS and Rotary.
The Shed is a valuable community asset.
On 30/09/10 a meeting with five Uniting Church representatives was held at the Shed. They were very impressed with the facilities and activities of the Shed and were invited to send representatives to the October committee meeting. We understand Uniting Care Ageing is very interested in Sheds and is involved with funding other Sheds.
Pat Faggotter joined the Steering Committee and has continued to make a meaningful contribution.
AMSA submission (150 out of the 400 sheds applied), decision is expected in November.
The Shed is now on Bunnings BBQ roster.
Shed quarterly financials confirm the need of funding for salary and rent.
CHCC advised “airport land’ was still one to one and half years away.
Contact with Dept of Veteran Affairs again made.
The three minute promotional DVD produced by CHESS IT staff, with Peter’s voice over, was presented.
Tony Goninan and Garry Watt attended an AMSA meeting at Lake Macquarie. Tony commented most other sheds do not pay rent and Tony submitted a report which included many thoughts on fundraising.
Men’s Shed logo and official shirt adopted.
The need for a fundraising committee was again aired. Many, many fundraising ideas were discussed.
Andrew Fraser, the local State member visited the Shed and commented if there was a change of Government he would like to see the Shed in the Showground. Andrew wants a concise fact sheet on the Shed’s activities.
Meeting with CHCC General Manager was disappointing.
Meeting with Federal Member Luke Hartsuyker went well and is also very aware of the Shed’s activities and he also wants a fact sheet.
Decided to prepare Certificates of Appreciation for presentation to sponsors.
The first birthday party held on 18/03/11 resulted in 75 attendees including politicians, CHESS. Rotary, mentors, participants, business and general community. The BBQ was well received and the print media coverage was excellent with Pat Faggotter’s birthday cake receiving special attention.
The Certificates of Appreciation were handed out.
The “Do You Know” fact sheet was well received.
As can be seen the Shed in its ‘first year’ under Peter’s day to day guidance had developed into a thriving enthusiastic vital community asset.
Whilst we are reaching “safe capacity” with daily attendance figures of around 20 we are able to offer great support to the 200 or so men who use the Shed’s facilities.
There is no doubt the Shed has made a major contribution to the mental health and well being of many Coffs Harbour men.
We must be mindful of the exceptional contribution that CHESS, Rotary and the Steering Committee members has made to maintaining the operation of the Shed.
The Shed has had contact with the School of Rural Medicine. This has resulted in a medical student doing a study on mental health. The student was given free access to the Shed. The resultant report talked about the Shed’s activities in glowing terms.
It is becoming apparent that the skill levels at the Shed are increasing and now and a greater variety of work is being done with better quality. This has increased the income significantly.
The recent contacts with the various Rotary Clubs has resulted in some generous donations.
Some second hand dust extraction equipment has been donated and this now been installed giving an improvement in the dust problem.
In June John Mandile announced his retirement. John has gained great satisfaction in getting the Shed up and running.
The Shed has made a bus trip to Nambucca Shed. The exchange of ideas and inspection of their operation was enjoyed by the 15 attendees.
Paul Kelly has been appointed CEO of CHESS.
The possibility of obtaining a second hand shed from the Cook Drive redevelopment area has been considered.
The Shed assisted Coffs City Rotary Club with the NAB annual bike ride.
An open day at the Shed resulted in $500.00 in sales and plenty of visitors to the Shed.
Coffs Harbour City Council again confirmed the “airport land” was 2 years away.
Discussion on the Shed’s lease confirms April 2012 expiry.
UnitingCare representatives visit Shed.
Meeting was held with Andrew Fraser and Luke Hartsuyker to keep them aware of the Shed’s needs and aspirations.
Submission for “Community Buildings Partnership” grant being prepared.
Paul Gallagher and Ian Isles advised they no longer had an interest in the Cook Drive redevelopment area.
Web page for Shed updated.
A front page article in the Independent has been well received by the public at large.
The Art Show arranged by CHESS enabled Ken Howe to have some one on one quality time with Steve McGrath on the Shed’s activities.
Wayne Glenn wanted assurances the Shed had adequate month to month funding.
The Shed lease is OK on a month to month basis.
Wayne Glenn can see the benefits in purchasing a second hand shed but felt a new shed would be a better option.
Round 3 of AMSA funding results in a $1300.00 grant for a computer and printer.
CHESS confirm funding okay to June 2012.
A January meeting with Coffs Harbour City Council staff confirmed again “airport land” allocated to the Shed. We asked the Council to please re-look at Crown, Showground and any other land that may be available.
Peter secured the Coffs Harbour City Council “headstone project” and Coffs Harbour Rotary Club provided a new electric cement mixer.