Mentoring at the Men’s Shed

By Therapy Focus

A group of 18 young men living with intellectual disability have gained vital job skills through a Men’s Shed mentoring program.

In partnership with Therapy Focus, Curtin University and Western Sydney University ran the six-month program inviting men aged 17-24 years-old to visit their local Men’s Shed once a week to work on a range of hands-on projects including woodwork, metal work, gardening, arts and crafts, and computers.

Project Lead Dr Ben Milbourn from the School of Occupational Therapy, Social Work and Speech Pathology at Curtin University said the project had been hugely successful.

“By working with mentors from their local Men’s Shed who had been trained by occupational therapy and nursing academics from Curtin University and Western Sydney University, these young men boosted their confidence and knowledge of work skills, experienced decreased anxiety, and developed their work routine and work relationships,” Dr Milbourn said.

One of the young men has already secured employment after taking part in the program and many will continue their involvement with their local Men’s Shed because of the relationships and skills they have developed.

With 6 months of experience under their belts and a range of new skills, the men graduated from the program at a special ceremony where they were awarded their certificates by Disability Services Minister, the Honourable Stephen Dawson.

Three videos have been produced showcasing the program and the journey of two participants, Jamie Clements and Declan Prince.

Services for Teenagers and Young Adults

Leaving school and entering adulthood is a big step for anyone, but for youth with disability and their families, it can be particularly daunting. Learn about Therapy Focus’ support services for teenagers and young adults.