MEN of any age are invited to join the Parramatta District Men's Shed to try their hands at woodwork, metalwork or gardening.
The group, founded by Vietnam veterans Doug Mackay and Kerry Boyce as a men's peer health project, aims to encourage men to get together for hands-on community projects as well as to talk about any problems with which they may be grappling.
The group has grown from about 15 to 38 members, with ages ranging from the mid-70s to mid-30s.
"We just did a therapy garden with raised garden beds for mental-health patients at Cumberland Hospital," Mr Mackay said.
Members recently partnered with WIRES to make possum boxes for wildlife at Constitution Hill.
Mr Mackay said one member, who suffered from depression, since joining the shed had "thrown himself into wood-turning" and shown great talent.
"Another guy had a request from his family to make a toolbox. So along the way he got graded up in the use of all the machinery. One of the guys is a cabinet maker, so he taught him how to do the dove joints and other joints correctly so it wasn't just glued and screwed."
They have guest speakers, such as a Cumberland Hospital nurse on dealing with depression and in August an aged-care speaker on preventing falls.
Members have worked as wood turners, cabinet makers, industrial engineers, artists, map-makers, in corporate structural design and more.
"With so many retiring and looking for things to do it's a matter of recycling their experience and knowledge."
Details:parramattadms.org or 9683 5518.