When Walcha Men's Shed was told the lease would not be renewed on its old headquarters, members were quick to rise to the task. The shed took out the 65+ Local Legends category in the NSW Tidy Towns Awards after building a new headquarters so men in the area can continue to find purpose and social connection in retirement. Shed member Gerry Moran said the club was established in 2011 and operated for many years out of a rental premises. Several years ago, it received notice that its lease would not be renewed, so members decided to take matters into their own hands. Mr Moran said members were determined to keep the shed alive - as it is a vital mental health resource for men in the local community. "We are a small community of approximately 1800 people and...it is a rural based community," he said. He said he was alerted to just how vital a resource the shed was after speaking to the local GP. "He was adamant that he could see a better mental health attitude in the men who visited the men's shed on a regular basis." The shed is particularly mindful of men who have retired after spending their lives on farming properties and need help adapting to living in town. "This provides a perfect environment for them to come to town and make friends. "Most of the wives are extremely happy to have their men go off to the men's shed three times a week." Partnerships were formed with Walcha Council, the state and federal governments and an existing hall that had been used by the local scouts association was identified as a possible new home. While the building was in a suitable location, facilities were insufficient for the group's needs. So they approached the association with a proposal - the shed would demolish and completely rebuild the hall and the association would be free to use it. In exchange, the shed would receive a long-term lease. After gaining approval from the association the council and every single resident in Walcha, members set about designing and planning the new project - including costings. It also conducted its own community consultation. Two separate state grants of $359,700 (including GST) and $110,000 were received, with the shed itself contributing the remaining $24,000. The shed was also able to do its own project management, due to Gerry's experience as a building inspector, saving 10 per cent of costs. The rebuilt hall features amenities such as toilets, a storage space with shipping containers (added at the request of the scouts association), car park with disabled parking, and a dust extraction unit. There are also recreational items such as a piano, dart board, and a soon to be installed full screen smart TV. It houses areas for various projects, including woodworking, electrical work, watch repair, and even boasts a fully propagated nursery. Perhaps the addition members are proudest of is the large lunch room, where members get together for a good pow wow. The men's shed only has two rules - have fun, and tools down at 10am for morning tea and a good chat. "A lot of our members and visitors come just for the morning tea. Some will stay and work, others will just talk about the weather, commodity prices, or whatever, and then go home." But the kitchen is far from just a place for small talk. In particular, as someone who only moved to the town about 25 years ago, he has enjoyed hearing stories about the town's history. "It's interesting to learn what the town was like 50,60, or even 70 years ago. There's interesting stories out there that never get told and people don't volunteer them until they are asked." For more information on the shed click here.