The search for a Men’s Shed in Warkworth looks finally to be over following the offer of a suitable building at Warkworth Showgrounds by the Warkworth A&P Society.
Once up and running, it’s anticipated the shed will be a boon for men’s mental health, and at the same time help repair and recycle discarded items that might otherwise have been dumped.
Men’s Shed enthusiast Barry Thompson says a Men’s Shed is a place with a range of woodworking, engineering and other tools.
“In a nutshell, a shed brings men together in one community space to share their skills, have a laugh, and work on practical tasks,” he says.
Men might choose to work on personal projects or work alongside others on projects that benefit the community.
Examples could include building playgrounds for preschool centres, repairing toy library stock, fixing bikes for disadvantaged children or building planter boxes to brighten up the central business district.
Barry’s interest in Men’s Sheds was spurred after visiting one in Tauranga earlier this year.
“The shed is a great place for blokes to learn new skills. We see builders teaching engineers some of their skills and vice versa. We see accountants being shown many skills they never had the opportunity to learn in their working life.”
Barry says following retirement, many couples experience shock at suddenly finding themselves with each other every waking and sleeping hour and this can cause friction.
“The shed is a great place to escape the stresses of “underfoot syndrome”, and the result is that women are among the most ardent supporters of sheds,” he says.
He adds that men are known to have a smaller circle of friends than women, so the shed offers opportunities to foster new friendships.
Summerset Falls retirement village resident and fellow enthusiast Glyn Williams says that a Men’s Shed provides many men with a useful occupation.
“About a third of the residents at Summerset are retired gentlemen. They don’t want to sit around and rot in their rooms. Many of them are really good with their hands and have skills,” he says
Both men emphasise that while the building will be designated a Men’s Shed, it’s also open to women.
Mahurangi Wastebusters founder Trish Allen says a Men’s Shed will complement trust efforts to establish a community recycling centre in the area.
She says many items such as unwanted bicycles and furniture can be restored and recycled at a Men’s Shed and then go on to benefit community organisations, rather than contributing to mounting landfill.
Barry says the shed at Warkworth Showgrounds has much to commend it. As it is large and has ample parking.
He anticipates much of the necessary equipment for it will be donated – often from widows who have no further use for their husband’s tools.
However, the building at the Showgrounds does need a lot of attention – such as requiring the installation of windows and insulation.
Barry is seeking men and women to get behind the project and volunteer to do the necessary work to make the Men’s Shed a reality. To get involved contact Barry on 425 5613 or email email@example.com