Since opening in 2009 the Hamilton Community Men's Shed has grown from opening three times a week to being open six mornings a week at the former city council work depot in what is now Norris Ward Park in Seddon Rd.

While its primary focus is to have a place where men can continue to connect with each other after retirement, women are also encouraged to join in a dedicated women's session on Thursday mornings.

The reserve was renamed and rededicated Norris Ward Park in 2015 to honour two World War I heroes Norris and Ward who, on return from the war, joined forces and went into business in Hamilton as lawyers more than 100 years ago.

The law firm, now operating as Norris Ward McKinnon has a community outreach programme, and as part of this recently approached the Mens' Shed offering support for the many projects they have been doing for and within the community over the past decade.

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Three representatives from Norris Ward McKinnon — Carla Rule, Carmen Simmonds and Sam Hood — visited the shed last week to learn about the projects and services that volunteer members of the Community Shed offer and to present new equipment.

To acknowledge Norris Ward McKinnon's sponsorship and support, shed chairperson Dave Hemming outlined the importance of having the right gear for completing projects. He demonstrated the latest drum sander acquisition and an associated portable automatic dust extraction device provided by the firm.

"Being able to capture any sanded wood dust that is generated by smaller and hand-held equipment is a health and safety requirement," as it can prevent respiratory complications which over time can become serious for some people," Dave said.

Mens' Shed founding chair Dr Neil Bruce also highlighted the historical support women have provided as advocates for the concept of community men's sheds in both Australia and New Zealand.

"Perhaps other key factors that the public should know about Community Men's Sheds are the diversity of experience which members bring, members' willingness to support other community groups, the wide range of skills and knowledge that can be coordinated to perform a specific task, and members' dedicated approach to long-term sustainability.

"Too much valuable material and equipment is dumped to landfill whereas it could be up cycled, recycled, repurposed or repaired," he said.

People are welcome to consider joining Mens' Shed to add to their skills and enthusiasm into the mix, while remaining connected with like-minded people.

For more information contact secretary Brett Rossiter ph 07 8556774.

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