Alcheringa Visits Swan Hill Men’s Shed, Grows Connections Old and New

Alcheringa, Swan Hill Men's Shed |

Alcheringa Visit Swan Hill Men's Shed Grows Connections, Old And New

Widespread research has long suggested that being part of a strong, local community can lead to significant health benefits, particularly around mental and emotional wellbeing.  

The team at our Alcheringa aged care home recognise how integral a ‘sense of belonging’ and social connectiveness can be for positive ageing and are committed to ensuring every resident can enjoy opportunities to reconnect with, and remain active members of, the Swan Hill community which they have proudly called home for decades. 

A recent highlight of the home’s busy social calendar took place this week – when seven residents paid a special visit to the local Men’s Shed, run out of the Swan Hill Neighbourhood House. 

Particularly with Men’s Health Week taking place in June, it was a timely opportunity to appreciate the importance of building local connections and shared spaces for positive dialogue and interactions, while also recognising the important role that the Men’s Shed plays for the local community. 

The Men’s Shed provides a meeting place, where local men can learn valuable skills, make connections, build friendships, and continue to feel like productive and valuable members of the community. 

Mariya Hicks is Alcheringa’s Social Care Coordinator, and she says the visit, which included a shared morning tea, was greeted with great enthusiasm from residents, and led to some wonderful moments. 

“The residents absolutely loved it. It was such a great opportunity for some brilliant social interaction, and I know they appreciated engaging with their peers in the community,” Mariya says.  

“At the beginning of our visit, we went around and introduced each of the residents and it was clear from the get-go that there were shared connections and interests, particularly around past farming and work experiences. Discussions quickly turned to their lives, their families, how their kids are now running their farms, and what they are up to in their retirement years. 

“Some were even able to reconnect with friends and contacts from the past, which was so lovely. One resident hadn’t seen his old mate since they were 14 and by chance, he turned out to be one of the guys attending the Shed. 

“It was an important education for them too. Just to know that services like the Men’s Shed exist in the community, where local men can go and gather and socially interact.” 

Mariya says that community activities, like the partnership between Alcheringa and the Swan Hill Men’s Shed, are hugely beneficial for residents as well as the home. 

“It really does allow us to stay connected with local groups and individuals and ensures our residents can continue to feel a strong link with Swan Hill and the surrounding region,” Mariya says.  

“A big thank you to all the fellas at the Men’s Shed, as well as their Convenor Kate Bishop, for being so amazing and welcoming. Our residents enjoyed it so much and are already looking forward to our next visit in the future.” 

Respect enjoys a historical connection with the Australian Men’s Shed Association, a network of more than 1,200 sheds across Australia.  

The very first Men’s Shed began on the grounds of Tongala Memorial, another of our homes in Regional Victoria. Named in honour of Dick McGowan, a Victorian community leader who identified the need for somewhere local men could go and find someone to talk to and something to do, the Tongala Men’s Shed birthed a legacy that has blossomed into a national movement. 

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