It’s no secret that men are not always the best at sharing how they’re feeling or reaching out when they need a hand.

And for many in the community, the past twelve months have only made things worse.

But there are some members of the community doing everything they can to try and help ease that sense of isolation that affects so many.

John Griffith is the President of Midland Men’s Shed, a community organisation that seeks to provide mateship and wellbeing services for its members.

The Men’s Shed helps out blokes suffering from isolation, lacking self-confidence, mental problems and disabilities, and Mr Griffith says that it goes a long way to helping get these men through some tough times.

“Many Men’s Shed members struggle from social isolation, and weekly meetings are a great way to meet new people, connect with likeminded individuals and provide them with structure throughout their week,” Mr Griffith says.

“Now more than ever, we need to come together and provide support for these men during these tumultuous times.”

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The Men’s Shed offers a range of community events for 120 local men through weekly community events and activities, including chess and art groups, and its Tuesday morning Rockin’ Shedders music sessions. Although the pandemic put all of that on hold last year.

Eventually, John was able to get the shed back on track, thanks in no small part to a generous 2020 Commonwealth Bank Community Grant.

Mr Griffith says that he is “extremely grateful” to have received the $10,000 grant after being nominated by CommBank Midland Branch Manager, Roxanne Ozanne.

Its new ‘Come Back’ initiative has, with the help of the grant, already seen over 100 local men come back through its doors.

Midland Men’s Shed joins more than 170 other recipients across Australia to receive one of 205 grants being awarded by CommBank Staff Foundation. These organisations have been nominated by a CBA employee to receive a much-needed financial boost of $10,000.

Now in its 102nd year, the CommBank Staff Foundation has a strong history of supporting youth-focused organisations through the Community Grants Program. The $2 million dollar program is made up of fortnightly contributions by CBA staff, which are matched by the bank.

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With many Australians recovering from the devastation caused by the recent bushfires, followed by the economic impact of Coronavirus, 2020 marks the first year in the program’s history that CBA employees have been able to nominate any eligible organisation or charity in their local community that needs a financial boost.

Recipients of this year’s grants are working to address a diverse range of issues across our community – including homelessness, Indigenous disadvantage, domestic violence and cancer support.

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