Sourcing Community Support
On the 20th of October 2009, a public forum was held to gauge community interest in opening a Mens Shed in Sandgate. As a result of the forum, the Sandgate Mens Shed was established utilising an existing two car sized shed located on church land at the rear of St Margaret's Anglican Church at 39 Rainbow St, Sandgate.
Shed Fit Out
Materials and paint to refurbish the shed were provided by Brisbane City Council via the incumbent Councillor Victoria Newton. Community and local business support came in the form of donations of timber and second hand tools and wood work machinery to make the shed operational.
The official opening of the shed was held on 23 February 2010. The event was officiated by Cr Newton and representatives of the Anglican Church, Sandgate Diocese.
Initial Funding of the Shed
Financing the operational cost of the shed was initially met through membership fees, community sausage sizzles and by sales of products made by members at the annual Einbunpin Festival. Income improved considerably with the opportunity to participate in regular Bunnings BBQ events.
In 2011, a timber products manufacturer at Virginia commenced regular timber donations to the shed until 2012, when the business closed. The requirement to now buy timber put the shed's finances under considerable stress and threatened the primary activity of the members. Our saviour came in the form of the QLD Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), with regular large donations of timber and other materials. Their support and generous donation continues to date.
Membership Growth and Equipment Improvements
From the original 15 in 2010, shed membership gradually increased over the next two years to a healthy 34 members. In order to accommodate the increasing membership, the shed structure doubled in size thanks to the fundraising activity of the members and generous grants from Brisbane City Council. The workshop area was extended and a kitchen and wood turning area added. An external concrete area was installed to enable mobile work benches and machinery to be located outside of the workshop freeing up interior work space. After 3 years of fund raising activities by the members, the quality of the machinery and tools was gradually upgraded. The better tools and machinery enabled the members to produce a higher quality work with great sense of self satisfaction, while at the same time improving the safety aspect.
Expanding our Community Profile
In 2015, with the demolishment of the Shorncliffe Pier, Brisbane City Council offered the shed, timber from the bridge demolition. The offer was accepted and the members commenced work manufacturing pens and clocks from the pier timber, for sale to the public. Soon orders were coming in from past residents all over Australia. A substantial amount of earnings for the shed resulted from three years of sales of pier products, sufficient to meet the cost of relocation of the shed in early 2016.
Relocation of the Shed
By mid 2016, the membership had increased to 40 and was growing. It soon became evident that the limited facilities at St Margaret's shed could no longer meet the requirements of the members and so assistance was sought from the QLD Government. As a result, the QLD Dept of Health, Metro North, invited the shed to relocate to a larger and superior facility, better equipped to meet the growing needs of the shed. A four year Memorandum of Understanding was signed by both parties and the Sandgate Mens Shed became incorporated and took up residence at the QLD Government Brighton Health Campus.
The relationship between Metro North, the Health Campus and the Sandgate Mens Shed continues to be a resounding success. The Shed operates in partnership with Metro North's Brighton Community Hub, in contributing to community needs with a main focus on the mental wellbeing of the male community. The shed also contributes to the Health Campus operation by manufacturing therapeutic aids as requested by the medical staff, as well as catering for visits to the shed by Gannet House residents. Shed members have and continue to support special events held at the Community Hub, through the provision of BBQ equipment and cooking, in addition to participating in annual community health education seminars. In 2021, the original four year MoU expired and was replaced with a 5 years tenancy agreement.
Our continued success and growth is owed in large part to the ongoing support of the community and businesses. We have established ongoing partnerships that contribute significantly, in various ways, to the cost of running the shed.
Brighton Health Campus
449 Hornibrook Highway, Brighton 4017