TWO Bendigo women who had the same though to develop a Bendigo Women's Shed have join forces to make the idea a reality.
Jo Haynes and Prue Clarke each began ideas for their groups before finding each other online.
"I drew an idea up online saying why not have a Women's Shed here and Jo had already been working on the idea," Ms Clarke said. "It had been up about five minutes and she saw it.
"So we met online thorough this idea and thought it would silly not to combine them. Jo had done a lot of groundwork and now we can pick it up and go.
"Now have 2500 group members in about five weeks."
Ms Haynes said she started planning a Bendigo Women's Shed as part of a community project for her studies.
"I was doing a diploma of community service but because of COVID, we couldn't finish our placements and had to do a community project," she said. "That spawned the idea in November to do a Women's Shed project."
Ms Haynes said there are about 50 women's sheds in Australia including 13 in Victoria.
"They're all different," she said. "Some have older populations and do more craft-based thigs, some are amalgamated with Men's Sheds and some are same concept (as Men's Sheds) but work independently, which is what we want to do.
"The biggest thing that came out of this was that women want to know how to do home maintenance and be independent. It's also a gender quality thing about encouraging women into trades."
Ms Clarke said it was also about providing a social outlet for people.
"They can learn how to fix a hole in the wall or change a tyre but it also needs to be an area where ladies can come in and not have to do a project. They can just to come in for a cuppa," she said.
"(Society) is losing its connection. Even before COVID, you can get caught up with your family and find yourself only have online relationship with friends."
After meeting with City of Greater Bendigo, the two women are also meeting with community groups as they look for a premises to have the Bendigo Women's Shed.
"When it comes to Men's Shed, they're designed for men's mental health and we don't want to step on any toes, that's for the men," Ms Haynes said.
"I also don' want to take anything away from other organisations things that are already happening in town. Community centres offer so many projects that women have been suggesting, so we are hoping to go hand-in-hand with those centres around Bendigo.
"The other thing is we do need is a place. We can't just be in someone's shed in a backyard because of (coronavirus restrictions). It has to be in the Bendigo area, accessible to public transport."
Bendigo Women's Shed will hold an AGM to establish a committee of management. For more email email@example.com or find Bendigo Women's Shed on Facebook.
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