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Dural volunteer team award winners give back in spades

Back in 2011, a small group of recently retired blokes decided to put the skills they’d learnt over a life time to good use – they formed the Dural Men’s Shed.

Seven years on the Dural Men’s Shed has more than 100 members and they devote their time to mentoring and developing skills for young people who need a helping hand.

Founding member Chris Thomas said the members get as much out as they put in when they volunteer for the Men’s Shed.

“Our members enjoy helping each other and other people who can benefit or learn from their skills and knowledge,” Chris said.

“By volunteering together, they also create their own community and a sense of camaraderie and friendship, giving extra support for each other, particularly members with health issues”

The members of the Dural Men’s Shed are encouraged to volunteer about one-third of their time at the shed helping other organisations.

They share skills across areas such as welding, automotive, carpentry, laser cutting, computing, metal work and pyrography. The centre has even just invested in a 3D printer.

They partner with other organisation such as Whitelion who support at-risk young people and the Warrah Special School who help students with disabilities.

They are also helping students from Galston High School strip down and rebuild an old Mini Minor car. Under supervision, the students learn about panel beating, mechanics and finally spray painting as they give the car a new life.

It’s hoped the new skills they learn from the Dural Men’s Shed volunteers will become a bridge to a new apprenticeship or trade.

The Dural Men’s Shed was a finalist in last year’s NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards.

To nominate a volunteer for an individual, team or corporate award in the 2018 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards go to www.volunteering.com.au/volunteer-awards

You can contact The Dural Men’s Shed at duralmensshed@gmail.com and check them out online at https://www.thecentredural.org.au/dural-mens-shed/