Baffle Creek Men’s Shed changing lives
Operating out of a small facility without power or toilets for more than three years hindered Baffle Creek Men's Shed's development and progress.
So after two years of planning and grant applications, president Neil Connor said they were looking forward to establishing their official "club", aimed at fostering friendships and helping the community.
Currently, Mr Connor said the Men's Shed had about 30 members from Rules Beach, Baffle Creek, Rosedale, Mt Maria, Deepwater and Wartburg, who greatly benefited from the mateship and work done by the organisation.
"Some of our members are quite isolated and live by themselves out in the scrub and a lot of them are a bit sad as they've lost their partners," he said.
"The Men's Shed gives them somewhere to come and talk to people for support or just to have a chat and make friends.
"It delivers wonderful outcomes, can really help people out and it's really going well.
"It's really what the area needs for men."
After a lease on land was granted by Gladstone Regional Council in 2020, the Men's Shed is patiently awaiting development application approval for their new 20 by 12 metre "home".
"We procured a grant, just over 12 months ago through the government for $149,000 to build a shed," he said.
"The council said, as part of our grant application, they would supply the grounds for lease which they did.
"Everyone at the council and the councillors have been really helpful to us.
"Tina Davison has been fantastic in the way she has helped us all the way through the processes."
Once the development application is approved, Mr Connor said it would be "full steam ahead" on the shed construction and fit-out.
"We will have a really good workshop when we're finished with tools, compressors, drills, saws, a couple of lathes and welding equipment just like a typical Men's Shed," he said.
"One of our members approached Boral and is getting all the gear to fit out a kitchen, an office and meeting room, where we'll put an old pool table, so it will be a really good spot for men of the region."
Without the grants, plus support from businesses and council, Mr Connor said the organisation wouldn't be where it is today.
"We've applied for at least eight grants and in every one we have got all or part of what we applied for," he said.
"Shell QGC were fantastic, they supplied us with a laptop computer and about $4000 to buy welding gear," he said.
"The grant through the Department of Community Services covers the slab, shed erection, water tanks, electricity connection, electrician, plumbing, toilets and shower.
"The Australian Men's Shed Association gave us a $10,000 grant that bought hats, tools, compressors, a table saw, drop saw and drill press.
"One of the local lads generously donated his machinery and some fill, then levelled the block for us so we can put the slab on it."
Mr Connor said the organisation was confident council would approve their development application very soon.