Hamilton Community Men's Shed celebrated its 10-year anniversary on March 21.

The community sheds provide a space for men not in full-time employment to be encouraged to continue using their knowledge and skills for the benefit of others.

Neil Bruce, the original creator of Hamilton men's shed said the group has gone from strength to strength in the past 10 years.

"The guys turn up and they are just happy to have a place to be. They like making things and fixing things and it is just a home for them," Dr Bruce said.


"As a Community Education Director of the Community Learning Centre in 2007, I visited the second Australian Men's Shed conference in Sydney.

"This enabled me to spearhead a movement in Hamilton and in several other parts of New Zealand to establish community men's sheds."

Mr Bruce said that the community group strives to continue to create and maintain a safe place for men to gather, chat, discuss, share and work as a team.

One of the projects that the shed has worked on for a number of years is the Angel Boxes — coffins for deceased children — which is led by Arie Graafhuis

"We make four sizes and we have been doing that for two and a half years," Mr Graafhuis said.

"We have done about 240 now."

All the materials are donated to the shed from various organisations around Hamilton.

"I do them on a Wednesday night and if people want to come along and help they are welcome to."

"They then go to Shelley Taotala who is a social worker and she coordinates the whole lot."

The group has also broadened its operations to include women attending the workshop on Thursday mornings and youth attending a class on Thursday afternoons.

They are now pushing for more space to operate from as they acknowledge that the lack of room to work has stopped them providing a service to a number of people.

"We have searched for several years for larger facilities that could enable greater diversification but remain stymied and our efforts have ground to a halt," Dr Bruce said.