Your local community Men’s Shed is an updated version of the garden shed that our forefathers pottered around in, making toys, fixing bicycles and lawnmowers, a place for a man to be a man amongst tools and machinery. However, the isolationism inherent in the historic back yard shed has given way to collaboration and knowledge transfer with the advent of the community Men’s Shed. Now men can share their knowledge and experience with others, passing on their skills to a new generation of men who didn’t benefit from the formal apprenticeships of a bygone era.
Rather than investing in expensive equipment that might only get used once in a while, left to gather cobwebs in a dimly lit private back yard shed, a community Men’s Shed allows for resource pooling, giving men the benefit of a wider range of tools at their fingertips. Various trades are represented at the community Men’s Shed, and you might find tools and machinery that you may not have access to in your own back yard shed. The Henderson Community Men’s Shed already contains several types of welding equipment and a wood-turning lathe, plus many other specialised machines for woodwork, carpentry, metalwork, sheet-metal benders, and more. Equipment can be donated or just co-located at the Shed for others to use.
There are many benefits of being involved in a community Men’s Shed. Not just access to a plethora of tools and machinery, and the wealth of knowledge and advice available from other men in our community. The camaraderie and friendship that can develop within a community Men’s Shed is cathartic, and something that was seldom to be found in the garden shed of our forefathers. The opportunity of making something yourself, or participating in a group project, can be a pleasant distraction from the hustle and bustle of modern life. You may just have a specific project in mind, something around the house that needs fixing but you don’t have the tools or space to do it yourself. The community Men’s Shed can be used for such one-off projects. But the real benefits come from being involved regularly, getting to know the guys at the Shed, sharing your skills and knowledge with them, and gaining some new skills yourself.
It's not just about woodwork and metalwork either. The Henderson Community Men’s Shed also has some computers being co-located here, providing the opportunity for men to learn more about technology issues. Other Men’s Sheds around the country have quite a range of activities available, and more activities can be added at our local Shed as ideas are gathered and time and space permits. Community Men’s Sheds are springing up all over New Zealand, and a national organisation is being established. Australia already has a strong national organisation with federal government funding available. The Men’s Shed movement is a global phenomenon. Let’s show the world how it’s done properly, because, as the saying goes, “DIY is in our DNA”.