If you get a shed, they will come

The Nelson Menzshed groups have merged and been given the Reliance Engineering building as a new base by the Nelson City Council.
An old engineering shed in Nelson has an enthusiastic bunch of new occupants in the form of Menzshed members.
Almost two years after the Nelson Menzshed asked the Nelson City Council for help in finding suitable premises, the organisation has a new home in the old Reliance Engineering building on Haven Rd.
The two urban Menzshed groups, Nelson and, Whakatū merged last year and are in the process of getting the shed set up. Co-chair Philip Chapman said the group had been given a year lease on the council-owned building and $10,000 from the community fund to get it going.
Fellow co-chair Denis Moriarty said the group were ‘‘absolutely delighted’’ with the space.
‘‘It’s exciting to have a roof over our heads because it has been a long time coming.’’
Moriarty said the group had about 50 members who came from different backgrounds and had a diverse range of skills.
It was ‘‘ hammer time’’ that brought them all together, the chance to work on projects, seek help from others and give back to the community.
The new premises included a design room, seminar room and of course, a smoko room.
‘‘It looks like everyone is just sitting around having a cup of tea but it is basically the engine room of a Menzshed, it’s about mateship, fellowship, fraternity and sharing ideas,’’ Moriarty said.
‘It’s not just about catering for a certain section of the community, it’s about what those people can give back as well.’’
Chapman said the council understood that men could suffer from social isolation in old age and that the Menzshed aimed to combat that.
‘‘All the research indicates it is males that don’t have networks so this shed fills a real gap for those men.
‘‘If you set up a support group for older men over a cup of coffee, no-one would come.
‘‘You set up a shed and you get hundreds.
‘‘There are hundreds of men with great skills just out there painting their letterbox for the tenth time, bored out of their trees,’’ Chapman said.
‘‘You will find incredible skills in the older generation and I think they are undervalued and they are disappearing so we need to teach some of these skills to younger guys.’’
Chapman said they were keen to hear from anyone who wanted to join, or had tools to donate and could help in getting the shed set up.
Anyone interested in joining the Menzshed can drop into the shed at 234 Haven Rd on Tuesday or Thursday from 9.00 am onwards.