Menz Shed on the way for Porirua City
Got a retired husband getting under your feet? Just hold on because help is on the way.
Porirua is about to get its very own mens shed - or Menz Shed - part of an international movement providing a place for men to gather and contribute to their community.
Carole Brown had spent the past two years working on getting the shed up and running, partly as a civil duty and partly self preservation, she said.
‘‘When my husband retires it would be nice to have it there,’’ she laughed.
It was mainly women campaigning for a shed to be built in Porirua, the retired school teacher said.
‘‘They’d tell me their husband was just getting under their feet so I better hurry up and get it organised.’’
Joking aside, Brown said the sheds provided an important community resource and could be the difference between life and death for some users.
‘‘Men’s mental wellbeing is so important and they need to connect and socialise.
‘‘A shed can really be a lifeline, I’ve heard one man say he wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for his shed.’’
Once Porirua’s shed is up and running Brown planned to step back and volunteer her services elsewhere.
‘‘The men have to learn to run it themselves. It will be entirely up to them.’’
She did hope that the shed would be a place men could get health advice as well as pass on skills to some of Porirua’s unem- ployed young people.
‘‘It would be good for those young men who might not have a father in their lives.’’
With the new location all but confirmed, the shed would open in the next few months, Brown said.
Chairman of the New Zealand Menz Shed organisation, Ray Hall, said Porirua’s shed would bring the number of New Zealand sheds to 114.
New Zealand’s first sheds opened in Dunedin and Hamilton in 2008, he said.
‘‘From my perspective, the success of sheds in New Zealand illustrates how men and some women can take the shed concept and turn it into a reality with the support of the community.’’
A public meeting for anybody interested in the Porirua shed is being held on January 26 at the Porirua Club, Lodge Pl, 7pm.
Andy Tyler and Bruce Dawson at Napier’s Menz Shed.