The Te Awamutu Community Menz Shed are celebrating a big anniversary this month – 10 years of enabling a group of men of many and various backgrounds and skill sets to get to know each other and experience friendship and support.
With over 130 sheds throughout New Zealand, each with different facilities and equipment, their common goal is to provide their members with a positive outlook on life.
This Saturday they are marking their birthday - the shed will be open to the public to visit and get a feel for the scope of equipment available to the sheddies and the range of projects that are done in the workshops.
Tea, coffee and some food will be available.
Originally the Te Awamutu Menz Shed site, 132 Raeburne St, was a typical residential section and dwelling.
A great deal of work followed the occupation of the site – the removal of debris including the remains of five cars, various shrubs, weeds and trees and the clearing out of the garage – later converted into a metalwork shop.
Rooms within the cottage were altered, two fireplaces removed, and a new kitchen installed. Along with this, a well-established vegetable garden extends across the full width of the site.
A beehive is added when the season dictates.
The men have extended the house with a covered work area and large work bench, an enclosed general workshop, a scroll room to the rear, paint room and equipment storage spaces.
A fully equipped lounge with log burner was recently added, followed by a full-length deck, outdoor furniture, and shade screen area.
The workshop has been extended, timber storage areas established, dust extractors installed and new garden facilities built into a section of a shipping container.
While this work was being done the men of the shed continued assisting many local residents and various community groups.
The work included the repair of existing items such as furniture and toys and construction items. Many new toys have been sold at the annual craft fair.
The history of the shed is unusual.
The owners of the adjoining property had decided to purchase the site.
A friend, who was aware of the development of the Menz Shed in both Australia and New Zealand, extolled the benefits to the men who could make up a shed if established here.
Persuasion prevailed and the site was put into a trust so that it would always be secured with the Te Awamutu Community Menz Shed group.
The shed is financially self-supporting from project income and levies.
Over the years the number of members has increased. Usually, the age range is from retirement but is not limited to that – there can be many reasons for members to join earlier.
If you would like to find out more about the shed or become a member, visit their Facebook page, or visit the shed at 132 Raeburne St during open hours, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 9am through to 12pm.
Currently the typical scope of activities includes woodwork, gardening, and metalwork but there are opportunities to extend the range of available facilities if people have other particular interests.