Supporting the Men’s Shed – with “The Real Men’s Cookbook”!

The Turramurra and Lindfield Community Bank branches have been long-time supporters of the Ku-ring-gai Men’s Shed and were thrilled to be able to help the group launch their first cookbook – “The Real Men’s Cookbook”.

We spoke with Paul Schiebaan, President of the Ku-ring-gai Men’s Shed about their group and their new book.

Paul, tell us about the Ku-ring-gai Men’s Shed?

Members of our Men’s Sheds come from all walks of life – the bond that unites us is that we all have time on our hands and would like something meaningful to do with that time.

Most of our members are retired aged between 50 and 90, some have lost their life-partner and feel lost, and others are looking for something to fill their day. Everyone is welcome; the Shed is for the mental well-being and health of retired men in general.

How does the Ku-ring-gai Men’s Shed partner with the Turramurra and Lindfield Community Bank?

The Shed has had a long relationship with the Turramurra and Lindfield Community Bank branches.  We were first established in 2007 and received our first grant from the bank shortly after.  Over the ensuing years, we have received ongoing support, including a much-needed ute which was provided in 2012.

We also work with the bank in a number of other ways.  As an example, in 2014 the bank partnered with us to build an outdoor learning area for Turramurra High School.  As the project involved building a large amount of outdoor seating, the bank provided the school with an introduction to us and we were able to help.  We charge $30 per hour and were able to do the project for about $6,000 – significantly lower than commercial rates.  A lot of shedders were involved in the project, and the result was fabulous. The money that we earn from these initiatives enables us to put money back into other Men’s Shed projects.

Since then we have completed other projects with the bank’s assistance. It’s that kind of joint effort between the bank, the Shedders and a great cause that has provided such benefit to the community.

I personally bank with the Turramurra branch and, separate to the fabulous service I receive, am greatly satisfied when I see real benefit being delivered by the bank to our local community.

How did the Men’s Shed get involved with Cooking?

 For all sorts of reasons, we found that many men didn’t feel confident in the kitchen. Being able to cook allows men to remain independent longer and reduces the pressure on family, carers and the already strained social services.

In 2016 the bank provided a grant for us to upgrade our kitchen. Since then we’ve held monthly cooking classes, which are very popular (there is a waiting list). We learn how to prepare the meal, purchase the ingredients, and then cook up wonderful meals – and share them over a glass of wine.

The Real Men’s Cookbook

 Annie from the bank was the first to suggest the idea of a cookbook. The branches provided $500 to kick-start the project, and a year later the cookbook has become a reality.

It’s been a fantastic journey to see it come together – and now it’s available to purchase for $10 – with all proceeds going to future Men’s Shed projects.  If you’d like to purchase a copy of The Real Men’s Cookbook – come into either the Turramurra or Lindfield Community Bank branches.

If you’d like to learn more about the Ku-ring-gai Men’s Shed – click here.