Team members of Extend After School Care Yarrawonga and the Yarrawonga Men’s Shed came together last week for a bbq lunch to celebrate the growing relationship between the two organisations as well as a presentation of a token gift.
Extend After School Care Service Coordinator Joanne Kingston said her team from Sacred Heart Primary and herself have built an amazing Community Project working with the Men’s Shed in Yarrawonga and they wanted to gift the Shed as a thank you.
“My assistant Lisa, one of the educators at our service, lives next door to a member of the Men’s shed,” Ms Kingston said.
“As the Men’s Shed is a not for profit organisation run to allow local community members a safe, friendly and healing environment as well as also visiting schools and attending community events, we decided to introduce them into our program.
“Lisa heard through her neighbour that they have a man (Gary King) who has come out and visited groups before so she got me the number for Gary and from there I arranged a visit to the service.”
At this visit Gary brought a scroll saw to demonstrate to the children how he cuts out wooden animal creations as one of the activities at the Shed and the children were kindly given a collection of wooden kits that the Men’s Shed had created including cars, animals, planes and trains for the children to build and paint.
“The children enjoyed it so much that we have continued our relationship with them and they always like to see Gary when he pops in,” Joanne said.
The children were so pleased and appreciative that they came up with suggestions of how they could thank the group and they all helped to make cards and cupcakes for the men’s afternoon tea.
When they also found out one of the machines at the shed needed fixing they started to collect donations for the organisation, where they raised enough money to buy and present the Men’s Shed with a scroll saw that will go to great use at the shed.
Men’s Shed member Gary King said they enjoyed the relationship with Extend and were happy to help.
“We like working with the children and creating new and exciting things with them but we do it because we like to, we don’t necessarily want any reward for it,” Gary said.
“We enjoy building or restoring things and helping out in the community so our connection with Extend is great and we are very appreciative of our new scroll saw.
Extend CEO Darren Stevenson also said community links within towns the size of Yarrawonga Mulwala were vastly important and the link Extend have with the Men’s Shed is one that they will value into the future.
“Every community, whether in the city or country, have groups that can be a valuable
source of inspiration for your program and develop the children’s understanding of the community they live in,” Mr Stevenson said.
“Community links and community involvement are vital across all facets of the community as they promote and enable individuals to develop a greater sense of connectedness, involvement and belonging as well as helping to establish further knowledge, skills and experiences in the community.
“At Extend we understand the importance of community involvement and ensure all of our outside school hours care programs are actively involved in community organisations, charities or societies.
“That’s why our link with the Yarrawonga Men’s Shed is vital to us as it produces those links within very different community groups.
“We want to keep this connection strong for as long as we can and stay involved with the Men’s Shed for many years to come.”