Menz Shed open day

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Menz Shed members Peter Murray (left) and Keith Robertson with a refurbished bench from the Tinwald Domain.

The Ashburton Menz Shed is looking for new members and is holding an open day on Saturday to show the public what goes on behind the scenes.

Menz Shed members Keith Robertson and Peter Murray said they would like to show the public what they do, the projects they are involved with and attract new members.

“Lots of people say they have heard of the Menz Shed but haven’t seen it,” Keith said.

The shed complex on William Street is kitted out with well equipped woodworking space and separate engineering workshops.

The Menz Shed are often asked to help out with woodworking and engineering projects from around the district, like refurbishing park benches from the Tinwald Domain and making pony jumps for the Methven Pony Club.

Keith said the projects usually come from word of mouth around the community.

“Someone will mention they need something made and people often say the guys at the Menz Shed could do that.”

The club is open a few days a week for members and part of the reason for having the open day is to find out if people would join if the complex was to open on weekends.

They would also like people with experience with machinery to join up.

“We’d like to meet guys who have experience and would like to be supervisors, get some guys who know machinery to pass on their skills,” Keith said.

Community involvement and support is a big part of what the Menz Shed is about.

The Christian School use their facilities on Monday’s, and Dementia Canterbury come once a month to work on projects with the members help.

Peter said he gets a lot of satisfaction helping people, “and for the retired guys its a way to keep connected and keep their skills active and be involved in the community in a practical way.”

Peter joined the Menz Shed a few years ago when he was looking for work, which led to him getting a job as a vocational support worker with disabled adults.

“The Chris Ruth Centre send their clients here, they saw me working with one of their clients and saw I had patience, was good working with disabled adults and offered me the job,” he said.

Keith finds the support work personally rewarding.

“I had a couple of projects with one fellow, it teaches you to be a bit more patient yourself, to just slow down.”

The open day is on this Saturday 11am-2.30pm at the Menz Shed, 8 Williams Street.

-By Daniel Tobin