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The Shed comes to life

Posted 11 July 2024

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Tucked away at the far end of North Epping a great community project is coming to life – the North Epping Men’s Shed.

Over five years ago an enterprising group of locals set their sights on revitalising the area adjacent to the Bowling Club. This would be the first Men’s Shed in the Epping area!

From modest beginnings, a major project has emerged, and the shed is nearing completion. Part of the national Men’s Shed organisation, it will offer a gathering place for the whole district – with plans for a wide range of crafts and activities to be led by the interests of members. But Men’s Sheds (and they are not confined to men – the name is a bit of a misnomer!) are really as much about bringing people together, offering company and social interaction, support and community spirit.

The North Epping shed has been a long project to bring to fruition. Initial work focused on securing the site (with support of Hornsby Shire Council and Crown Lands) The essential seed funding to kick start the plans came from Community Bank Epping and allowed the completion of a Development Application.

The Covid years threw a bit of a spanner in the works, but the committee was not deterred. Their perseverance led them to secure vital funding from government grants for the main construction phase, and a large structure started to emerge.

In 2023, they came back to the bank seeking further funding. The project needed a number of additional core works (including acoustic fit out and a mezzanine floor) in order for it to be completed. This second grant means that the bank is now the second largest financier of this major project.

And it is very near completion. The committee have ownership of the building and work has continued through the year on the numerous bits of fit out to be finished. Recent work has included retaining walls and bitumen surrounding the building, completion of the machine room, installation of a Tesla battery and upgraded security.

Most exciting, they have started their first activity – a woodworking project for a local kindergarden. The first of many community projects, no doubt.

The Men’s Shed is a membership organisation open to all locals. Go to https://nems.org.au/ for more information and to join. It is a great time to get involved.

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Winter 2024

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