Show must go on for community group with promise of new home
THEY say there's no better place for a man than his shed, so when 40 members of the community faced the threat of losing theirs, the incumbent MP decided to offer his assistance.
Bargara Men's Shed has been an outlet for many men in the community for the last seven years, assisting members to keep busy, socialise and preserve their mental health.
But with the their current lease coming to an end and with nowhere else to go, club president Peter Ryan said the not-for-profit club could be facing closure.
"We've had quite a few guys come here in a rather depressed state, especially older men when they finish their working life," Mr Ryan said.
"The camaraderie between the guys, the friendship and the attitude gives the guys a chance to talk about their problems whether it be (related to) social, health or mental with other guys who have experienced the same thing."
Currently situated at Community Lifestyle Support (CLS), the club's lease will expire in April and while they have been searching for land and putting proposals forward for the last 12 months, they have been unable to secure a new site.
But incumbent Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said he recognised the importance of the group and has committed to funding $150,000 towards a permanent home, under an LNP Government.
"We've been asking farmers and the government if they can give us a long-term lease or donate the land to us and this money from the [LNP] will be an absolute lifesaver for our shed," Mr Ryan said.
"(It will) give us an opportunity to purchase the land outright for the threshold title so that we can expand and grow into what our ambitions and goals are."
Mr Bennett said the funding was about acknowledging Bargara Men's Shed for their incredible contribution to the community and desire to find a new home.
"The Men's Shed has great leadership, great members and of course their memberships continue to grow," Mr Bennett said.
"With that comes the pressures of a small shed, so they do want to build a substantial shed that needs a car park and all the facilities to make sure men's shed can be all that it can be.
"It's important that people know about the mental health benefits, camaraderie and social interaction that the Bargara Men's Shed allows, but this home is going to come to an end.
In addition to providing a safe space for men to confide in each other, members of the organisation also work on projects for local kindergartens, schools, hospitals and furniture restorations for the general public.
Partnering with the Bargara and Coral Coast Men's Sheds in 2016, the incumbent MP delivered anti-bullying buddy benches in every state school within his electorate to eliminate loneliness and encourage inclusive friendships in the playground.