Dural Men’s Shed was recently honoured by being  awarded the team section of the ‘Volunteer Of The  Year’ for the Hornsby/North West Sydney region.

This is an annual award offered by the Centre For Volunteering, and was presented to the men by State  Minister Ray Williams.

The 98 shed members can be very proud of the recognition  of their team effort in building a community of men who not  only have a great time together at the shed but put so much  time and effort back into our local community and by doing  so, helping many people.

Some of the shed volunteering service includes mentoring  boys at risk in partnership with the Open Family/Whitelion  Youth organisation. Another group, from Warrah, intellectually  and physically disabled, come and work alongside some of the  men each week in a special programme. Similarly, there are men  helping to mentor boys from Galston School in the art of car  restoration as a bridge toward apprenticeships in the car industry.

A service with a difference is the work of a team of men  who make toys /mini blackboards for children overseas as part  of the Samaritans Purse projects.

Men are actively engaged with practical work with scouting  groups, children at special Bunnings days, and Pop’s days where  grandfathers are encouraged to bring grandchildren to work  one-on-one with some easy woodwork.

Many projects are completed for individuals, schools,  playgroups, churches…from fixing up coffee machines to  restoring old furniture and sewing machines and visiting people  who just need something fixed up at home. The volunteering ethos of giving time for others runs  strong at the shed, but it’s a two -way street because for blokes  who are suffering from severe health or emotional issues, the  volunteering for others acts as a real tonic as they enjoy the  great friendship in working together.

The remarkable thing is that as the membership expands  so too does the diversity of projects and skills, and the shed  facilities expand to cope, all with the tremendous ongoing  support of The Centre (Dural Baptist Church) which  established the shed in 2011. Part of the mentoring is in encouraging the Whitelion and  the Warrahgroups to complete projects that can be donated to  others, with items being donated to a hospital, youth groups,  and also Ronald Macdonald House.

The men recently observed the “Friday boys at risk” school  boys who were helping to get a big timber project finished for  Warrah to meet a deadline, could not stop for lunch, (which they  love), in order to finish the job for Warrah. These little things,  maybe small milestones, give great encouragement to the men.

If you would like to gain more information about the  shed or even donate funds to help these programmes  to continue, please contact the shed on 8989 0000 or  duralmensshed@gmail.com or the website  www.duralmensshed.org