A space for men to be with other men, sharing and using skills, and having a laugh is the simple concept behind Matamata Men’s Shed.
The shed is one of numerous sheds that have sprung up around the country as part of the Menzshed NZ movement. While all sheds are run along their own lines, they share the aim of providing a place for men to be, and to belong.
Pam Dazeley, who along with her husband Harlan, helped set up the Matamata shed in 2013 says,
“Men often have smaller circles of friends than women, and many men can feel a bit lost after they retire. The shed helps them to create a new community, based around shared skills and interests, and practical tasks.”
While at the shed men work on their own and community projects, socialise over tea breaks, and provide a useful community service by fixing and restoring old and broken furniture and equipment.
“There’s a constant demand for repairs, and our members enjoy the challenge,” says Pam.
Not all shed members are all retired. Men of all ages and stages of life will join when, for whatever reason, they have time on their hands and need somewhere meaningful to go.
Shed members also regularly mentor students from the local college, passing on valuable practical skills.
“For members, this is one of the rewarding parts of spending time at the shed,” says Pam.
In 2016, Trust Waikato donated $1500 towards the shed’s operating costs.