“Spanner in the Works?”

a Men’s Health initiative by the Australian Men’s Shed Association.

“Spanner in the Works” is a program designed to provide some key health messages to us men in a form that is understandable and achievable. Although the program was originally designed for Men’s Sheds it has proved to be easily adapted to other groups.

“Spanner in the Works?” is not about telling men what to do but sets out some things that men can do (or not do) to improve their health and their chances of a longer and happier life. It gives men the opportunity to make adjustments as they see fit. Often minor adjustments can have a major impact on health, relationships with loved ones and friends and work.

The program has the following main aims:

  • Provide some basic health screening and advice to men:
    • utilising the staff resources of the local health service.
    • referral on of men to health professionals (as appropriate)
    • Provide “men friendly” health information and health awareness through the “Spanner in the Works?” booklet.
    • Have local health service providers and local men engage with each other

NB – “Spanner in the Works?” is should NOT be considered a replacement for a check up by your GP.

What to do if your Community Group would like to run “Spanner in the Works?”

Step 1

Consult with your group to decide whether your group wishes to run a “Spanner in the Works?” event. This link will provide the information you need to make this decision – Overall Outline. It will take some time and effort on the part of your group.

Step 2

Contact your local Health Service to get them involved. You will need some of their staff to be able to carry out the screening process and advise participants re their health needs. This link will provide a document for you to give to the Health Service for their consideration – Overall Outline. When looking for you local Health Services they might be called:

Community Health Service/Centre

Primary Health Care Service/Centre

Population Health Service/Centre

Health Promotion Service/Centre

You may also wish to try your local GP/Doctors Practice. If you are unsuccessful with one organisation then try another. Health organisations do like to have plenty of notice so talk to them early.

Step 3

In consultation with your local supporting Health Service set a date and time that the event can be run. You might like to link the event up with some other local event being held to make the most of people being around and/or you can “value add” to the program by organising some healthy food or guest speakers etc.

Step 4

  • Complete the Spanner In The Works Registration Form and email to AMSA. When the registration form is received by AMSA we will:
  • Mail you some brochures (A5) and posters(A3) to help you promote the event in your community
  • Mail you the booklets needed for each participant at the event. Allow 2 weeks for these to get to you. If your group is not a Men’s Shed then there is a small charge for each booklet plus the cost of postage.
  • Also download the generic media release here – Media Release. Feel free to modify the media release to suit your local needs before releasing it to the media.

Step 5

Promote your event within your local community well ahead of time using the brochures and posters and media release.

Step 6

Run your event with the support of your local Health Service.

Step 7

Feedback – AMSA asks that following each “Spanner in the Works?” program you provide us with some feedback using the Feedback form and guidelines with this link – Feedback web. Please follow the guidelines to complete the form and email to AMSA. Note that the partner Health Organisation should also complete the feedback form – one feedback form from the Community Group’s point of view and one form from the health workers point of view.

Support and Contact

The program “Spanner in the Works?” is fully supported by the Australian Men’s Shed Association. All inquiries should be made to:

Gary Green
Community Engagement Manager

Phone 1300 550 009