Here at Willo's Men's Shed, we know that sometimes all it takes to change the world is a little support. we have been determined to make an impact in the lives of men from the towm of Gawler and surrounding areas by creating an environment in a safe and relaxed way.
The core of our efforts is to bring together men for fresh ideas and a passion to the range of activities we’re involved in by developing new skills and passing on new skills. this is through woodworking, metalwork, music, events (Gawler show, Xmas Dinner, BBQ's and helping the community), health information sessions(eg:prostate cancer first aid, mental health, mentoring each other
Willo’s Men's Shed Inc. started at 5a Little Paxton Street Willaston, South Australia, on 11th October 2007 to the current day.
This was a joint project between Gawler Health and Town of Gawler, with 10 people, The original committee in 2007 was supported by Graham Carse, Ian Polkinghorne, Douggie Lloyd, Dwayne Reed, and Steve Frinsdorf. It was established with a $50,000 grant from Wakefield Health, with the assistance of Employment Directions, which actually had the original head lease on the site. The Men's Shed became an incorporated body in may 2012 and holds the lease as Willo’s Mens Shed Inc., with a strong governance run by a Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer plus 6 committee members, we have been determined to make an impact in the lives of men from the town of Gawler and surrounding areas by creating an environment in a safe and relaxed way, and now has over 40 people on any of the three days Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Willo’s Men’s Shed Inc. is linked to the Australian Men’s Shed Association. It is a non for profit incorporated group. We charge an annual membership fee and we do have a try before you buy membership.
The Men's Shed was established to provide a shed substitute for retired men who may no longer have access to their own shed, garage or workspace which they can call their own. Importantly, though, the shed also exists to provide men with a setting distinct from the pub or a football club—there is often nowhere else for men of a certain age to go. In the workshop the men work on their own projects or do a lot of community work. They do repair work on furniture, etc., for the local nursing home, the Gawler Show, etc. All the moneys made by the shed are reinvested in the shed itself. The members are very resourceful in getting donated timber and machinery. You can tinker in the workshop or play a game of Pool darts or table tennis to craft to a coffee and chat.
Willo's Men's Shed also provides a place to enjoy the company of other men, and a cuppa in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere created by blokes working shoulder to shoulder with other like-minded men.
Willo's Men's Shed consists of three sections. There is the leisure room, a kitchen (which is used, obviously, for cooking and sharing meals) and a workshop (which contains workbenches, tools for woodwork, metalwork, etc.). In 2019 the Willo's Men's shed obtained a $20,000 grant from the "Fund my Neighbourhood" scheme through the help of the Rotary Club Gawler, to add another new shed to expand as the workshop space was becoming too small to cope with the expanding membership, Ahrens Construction erected the shed and donated the concrete floor. The Shed was officially opened on February 8th 2020 by Mayor Karen Redman (Gawler City Council) Steve Barilla (outgoing president, Rotary Club Gawler), and Mark Smeaton ( Incoming President, Rotary Club Gawler).
In the history since the project began over 1000 men have passed through the doors of the shed, some coming from outside Gawler itself.
Early days ran a group called Talk 'n' Tools, which was in collaboration with Employment Directions (who have now left Gawler. Various other projects include fixing water leaks in trailers and caravans to joinery and wood working projects.
Current statistics show that members spent more than 141,289 hours at the shed and individual users of 29,611 men attendance up to March 2019