Wellington's Menzshed ready to get back to work, after two years without a home

Menzshed Wellington coordinator Ross Buckley (left) with 'sheddie' Colin Malthouse and Menzshed volunteer Alan outside ...
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Menzshed Wellington coordinator Ross Buckley (left) with 'sheddie' Colin Malthouse and Menzshed volunteer Alan outside the group's new home at the Hataitai Bowling Club.

Menzshed Wellington is no longer homeless – with a lengthy two-year hunt for new premises finally at an end.

From late July, the greenkeeper's shed at Hataitai Bowling Club will house the DIY group, made up of senior men and women who work on projects for kindergartens, community groups and the elderly.

Menzshed trustee Steve Jardine said while it had been a long road finding new premises, he was happy the group has found somewhere that "ticked all the boxes."

Menzshed Wellington operates as a go to place for men (and women) who need a space to work on their special project.
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Menzshed Wellington operates as a go to place for men (and women) who need a space to work on their special project.

 "It's on a good bus route, easy access, not far from town, and it has a great community feel about it."

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While the main purpose of Menzshed Wellington was to provide a home away from home for older Wellingtonians to work on their special project. Jardine said it served another important function.

"It's a place for guys at a loose end. We are not just dealing with Kiwi blokes, we are dealing with all cultures, different nationalities...It also helps people who may feel socially isolated."

One of its first jobs in the new premises would be making traps for possums and stoats for Predator Free Northland – a project that was already underway.

Menzshed Wellington moved out of its Haining St premises in 2015 after it was red-stickered, with members left with nowhere to go. 

Despite the two year hiatus, Jardine was confident the "sheddies" who had disappeared back into the woodwork would come back and be part of the resurrected group.

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"A lot of these guys aren't that mobile. They need a workspace where they can sit or lean on a workbench. They have been in limbo waiting for the word that we have a new shed."

Hataitai Community Trust member Barbara Benson said the partnership between the two organisations was a win-win.

"It's nice to know there will be someone there almost every day, keeping an eye on things and pulling in a different age cohort to the space."

Hataitai Community House and Childcare Collective chair Chris Hare agreed, happy to see the bowling club facilities used in a positive way.

"When Hataitai Bowling Club gifted the club to the community in 2011, the aim was to keep the facility in the arms of the local people, he said.

"The Menzshed, along with the numerous other activities at this 'Hataitai hub' enlarges and continues the old bowling club tradition of inclusiveness."

 

 - Stuff

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