HANDS ON: The Workshop at Noosa Community Support provides interesting challenges for Joan Sinclair with help from Jim Wright.
HANDS ON: The Workshop at Noosa Community Support provides interesting challenges for Joan Sinclair with help from Jim Wright. Peter Gardiner

Nailing a chance to be active with community support

MONDAY is going to be a day of making the most of her time for Noosa senior Joan Sinclair, who is a new recruit to The Workshop in Noosaville.

Already Joan has tried her hand at varnishing a toy wheelbarrow here at the very friendly "coal face” of the Noosa Community Support centre.

The Workshop is looking to build friendships among those who might otherwise be at home isolated.

This hands-on centre is open to anyone in Noosa who is aged over 65 or under 65 with a disability.

"I'm a new chum who comes on Mondays,” Joan said at the ceremony to mark the community workshop extending from Thursdays one day a week to two.

"I'm looking forward to anything as long as I'm not home.

"It's the company that's the big thing.”

The role of the centre is to keep people independent and make sure they can stay safely in their homes.

Each day the centre has about 35 residents visit to engage in a range of activities including barbecues, indoor and outdoor games, entertainers and also helping make toys for local needy children.

The workshop was developed because organisers want to create a space to be constructive rather than have clients sit and watch the tele being bored.

"That's what we're really aiming to do - get more people involved,” centre supervisor Geoff Brittain said.

"The workshop itself is open to both male and female clients.

"We generally see that the majority are male that come up here, but there's no exclusions whatsoever.

"Hence the reason it's called The Workshop, there's no reference to men's shed or anything along those lines.”

So far Joan and Elaine McFayden are keen to embrace this opportunity.

Geoff said "the backbone” of the program was Steve McEwan, who came from the building industry and was in charge of all the work designs, cuts out and supervision.

Mayor Tony Wellington said the centre was "absolutely responsive to clients' needs and what we're witnessing here today is that in action”.

He said the service last year only operated one day a week, yet managed to provide "a very large number of toys which were then given to the Salvation Army”.

"It was that success that has now led to this extension program,” he said.

"We're blessed with fantastic staff, but importantly we're also blessed with a large number of volunteers without whom this service simply wouldn't exist.”


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