The Hibiscus Men’s Shed Trust recently received Building and Resource Consents from Auckland Council and the Trust has begun raising funds to make the construction of its proposed facility, on the former Silverdale bowling green at Silverdale War Memorial Park, a reality.
Meanwhile, members are already working on a number of community projects. In fact, to keep up with demand they need to find a temporary workshop for around 18 months while their shed is built, and they’re hoping the community may be able to help.
Men’s Sheds are not-for-profit community workshops where, for a small fee, members can drop in for a chat and work on individual or community tasks. Resources are provided, including tools and equipment for woodwork, engineering, model making and electronics.
The fledgling local Men’s Shed, which already has 40 paid up members and more than 170 on its database, is receiving enquiries all the time from local community groups seeking help with having things made, refurbished or repaired.
One recent project was the upgrade of toy trucks for a local kindergarten – this was completed in Hibiscus Men’s Shed Trust chair Stuart Johnston’s home workshop.
However, Stuart says a number of other projects have had to be turned away because of the lack of a suitable workspace.
He says the Trust would like to hear about any space that could be made available to the group locally such as a large garage or barn, the back corner of a building that is too large for its current use or maybe even a retail location – anything would be considered. They need around 50sqm to 100sqm.
The Trust has already accumulated a substantial amount of donated equipment, currently in storage, sufficient for kitting out a small temporary workshop.
The Men’s Shed movement in New Zealand now numbers around 115 units either in operation or under development – the local one is number 97.
The effect of bringing men together to work on practical tasks has many benefits for mental health. Stuart says that a figure quoted from Australia shows that activities at each of their Sheds “is estimated to save the lives of seven to eight members a year”.
“If a shed on the Hibiscus Coast can make a similar contribution to our community, it is well worth supporting,” he says.
In addition, the group is fundraising to have a professional feasibility study done. Donations can be made in support of this on the Hibiscus Men’s Shed Trust page on Givealittle.
Info: Stuart Johnston, email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 424 7854 or 0274 923 357.