MEN'S HEALTH: Pomona Men's Shed president Doug Bettens and vice-president Rudy Meyer.
MEN'S HEALTH: Pomona Men's Shed president Doug Bettens and vice-president Rudy Meyer.

A Men's Shed full of laughter

IT'S the attitude of working together rather than apart which is making possible the mental health event Laugh Out Loud on August 22.

The Men's Shed Pomona is collaborating with Women Initiating New Directions Organisation (WINDO) to bring the event to life.

Shed spokesman Colin Thompson said they were able to initiate the social event for their 40 members and guests thanks to community funding from Noosa Council.

WINDO also received a grant for the event through the Queensland Government and the Council of the Aged.

"We will be able to mix with other people and with another group to have a bit of laughter and fun as life is so serious," Mr Thompson said.

Shed president Doug Bettens said he believed in getting groups to work together rather than just in their own space.

"It's also an opportunity for our Men's Shed group to help other community groups," Mr Bettens said.

While the shed members have helped local groups through various hands-on projects, this is the first time the Pomona Men's Shed has organised a cooperative social event.

"For our health we need that social interaction and not always with men," Mr Thompson said.

"It's a big collaborative effort."

The event will have two guest presenters.

Master storyteller and practising "joyologist'' Pat Armistead will bring joy to where there appears to be little, lighting the room up as she shares her stories and views on what it means to be a human being and a "humour being".

Local comedian Carolyn Mandersloot will ensure there are tears of laughter as the guests embark on a journey with Ms Mandersloot as she brings to life characters from the past through comic storytelling.

"If I can get the men crying with laughter I have achieved what I want to achieve," Mr Thompson said.

Organisers expect at least 80 guests to attend. "This is the start of our plans for the future," he said. If all goes well, he hopes that they have will have a similar event, with a different focus, each year.

"We have talked to other Men's Shed members who have said it's a wonderful idea.

"It's new, it's different; good old-fashioned social interaction."

Laugh Out Loud is on August 22, starting at 10am at Saw and Mill in Cooroy. Morning tea and a light lunch will be offered while guests are entertained. Tickets are $22 for shed members and $25 for non-members. They are available at windowomen.org.


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