School tools up

DENMARK MEN’S SHED and the Spirit of Play Community School have struck an in-principle deal for the former to teach manual arts to the latter’s students from a new $500,000 shed.

Yesterday, the men’s shed received a $195,000 cheque from a foundation created by former Denmark resident Don Brandenburg who died in 2015.

Men’s shed President John O’Donnell said the grant would enable his group to apply to LotteryWest for more funds to finalise design, negotiate a lease and seek Shire approvals for the new shed.

“Given completion of those steps, we can then progress with a building project at the Denmark Heritage Railway Precinct on Inlet Drive,” he said.  

“The total value of the project is in the region of $500,000.”

The men currently meet at the former youth centre at McLean Reserve, which Mr O’Donnell said was not fit for purpose. 

He said that, all going well, the new shed should be built by mid-2020.

Henrik (6) and Jack (8) Heslop invoke the spirit of play while their dad Carl, and John O’Donnell, talk turkey about classes. Photo: Chris Thomson

Spirit of Play Chair Carl Heslop said that for small organisations to be sustainable in Denmark they needed to share.

“There’s no point duplicating resources down here, and having [the men’s shed run the manual arts program] is a great way to bring kids and some older people together to share knowledge,” he said.

“For us, it’s huge.

“We’ve got kids in the school who don’t have grandparents, so there will be grandparent-like figures there.”

He said that from pre-primary onward, the school’s 72 students learned how to use tools to “be a bit practical”.

“We’ve talked as well about knowledge flowing the other way, teaching around IT and things like that,” he said.

The men’s shed’s membership ranges from blokes in their early 40s to those in their 80s. The school teaches pre-primary to Year 6, and has been operating on Inlet Drive for 15 years.

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