By: Avery Greenblatt
Phillip Jackson, a 67 year old who moved back to England from Australia, felt very lonely in his new community and was having trouble fitting in. Jackson believed there were plenty of people in his community who felt the same way, so he decided to expand a community building movement from Australia to England. The community building movement, which is called “Men’s Shed,” is meant to support men and women who have too much free time and who struggle making friends. The goal of the movement is to bring people together through the hobby of woodworking. This allows people to connect and work together to build community projects and listen to each other's problems. The Australian Men’s Shed Association has established over 1,000 new operating centers since 2005. The group receives financial support from the Australian Ministry for Health and Aged Care, and plays a key role in Australia's mental health support system. In an interview with The Guardian Jackson describes Men’s Shed by saying: “[i]t’s like the shed at the bottom of your garden, but all your friends are there. It’s a break from people’s weekly routines. It gets them out and talking to similar people.” The Men’s Shed allows members from communities of all ages and professions to come together and support each other while creating new bonds and wood projects.
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