Over the weekend the Te Awamutu Community Menz Shed held an open day in hopes of selling some of their items and attracting prospective members.

While majority of their current members attended, the same couldn't be said for much of the public.

"We were hoping for a few people through today so that they could see what we are all about but not a huge number came along," said the group's chairman Bevian Boddie.

Bevian and the group were not disheartened though and he said it's often surprising where members or customers come from.

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A bunch of the Te Awamutu Community Menz Shed current members turned out for the open day. Photo / Caitlan Johnston
A bunch of the Te Awamutu Community Menz Shed current members turned out for the open day. Photo / Caitlan Johnston

Those few non-members who attended the open day got to view some of the items that the Community Menz Shed members had made including karts, children's toys and home furniture.

They also enjoyed a sausage sizzle and were able to view the Menz Shed premises.

Unlike a lot of other Menz Shed's around the country, Te Awamutu Community Menz Shed has a unique property.

The Raeburn Rd premises features an engineering department, a main workshop, a scroll room, a timber supply room, a painting room, a social common space, a kitchen, a large deck and a garden.

The main workshop at the Te Awamutu Community Menz Shed. Photo / Caitlan Johnston
The main workshop at the Te Awamutu Community Menz Shed. Photo / Caitlan Johnston

"Most other premises are quite jealous of our house and garden because a lot of them are just in a ratty old shed and that's about it. We live in relative comfort here in comparison," said Bevian.

At the open day, Bevian also discussed that hosting a regular women's day once a week would be a possibility if there was the demand for it.

"We would run a women's day if there was a group of women that would like to come and use our facilities, say at least four or five. There would be a group of us that would come down and do what we can to help them," said Bevian.

The Te Awamutu Community Menz Shed began in 2011 by local Colin Hall who had heard of men's sheds being set up throughout Australia.

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Te Awamutu Community Menz Shed members Bill Were (right) and Murray Thomas enjoying the open day. Photo / Caitlan Johnston
Te Awamutu Community Menz Shed members Bill Were (right) and Murray Thomas enjoying the open day. Photo / Caitlan Johnston

The property however came from a past resident of the street who wishes to remain anonymous.

After selling their farm and moving to Raeburn St they noticed a small cottage, now the Te Awamutu Community Menz Shed, up for sale and said they simply could not refuse it.

They were also friends with Colin through their local church and they ended up offering up the property knowing that Colin needed a premises to run the men's shed.

"He had the vision and wanted to start a men's shed but he needed somewhere to start it and at church for weeks and weeks he kept asking me what are you going to do with that cottage because he knew we had brought it," they said.

The house has now been put into a trust so that it will always be secured with the Te Awamutu Community Menz Shed group and the owner says that doing that has given them the greatest pleasure.

"I'm very proud of them all and what they have done with this place. They've grown like topsy," they said.

Nowadays the group mostly supports itself without external funding. They're able to run on their own with the amount of work they get requested to do and from donations and discounts from local businesses.

Children's kart and rocking bike made by members of the Te Awamutu Community Menz Shed. Photo / Caitlan Johnston
Children's kart and rocking bike made by members of the Te Awamutu Community Menz Shed. Photo / Caitlan Johnston

Some of the businesses they are supported by include Bunnings Te Awamutu, Mitre 10 Mega Te Awamutu, Waikato Bobcats and Diggers, Bower and Sons Concrete, D.V Bryant Trust, Alpha Scaffolding, Collins Flooring Xtra, Gold Pine, Te Awamutu Floor Sanders and a number of local families and lotteries.

They also get a number of people, groups or organisations asking for help with their projects. All they generally ask for is a small donation above the cost of the materials required.

Recently they have made picnic tables for the National Wetland Trust to go at Lake Rotopiko reserve, they've also made several pest traps to go on Pirongia Mountain and they are currently making a book stand for Kawhia Library.

To join or find out more about the Te Awamutu Community Menz Shed visit their Facebook page, email teawamutumenzshed@gmail.com or visit their website www.tamenzed.org