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Henley Men’s Shed going strong

Off the back of Father’s Day, Men’s Shed week returned for another year.

Masterton’s Henley Men’s Shed [HMS] officially opened on June 22, 2009, and with help of 131 volunteers, the shed has since created a space where men can get out of the house to try something new with like-minded blokes.

Coordinator/manager John Bush told the Times-Age the men who walk through the doors of HMS come from all walks of life, and include lawyers, doctors, farmers, “you name it”.

“Men’s sheds were created around what blokes do when they retire – go home, sit on the couch, and wait to die. That’s not a great future. They have all the knowledge, skills, and experiences of life – so keep on using those things,” Bush said.

Although men who join the shed are usually 65 years old and up, Bush said they have members who are younger than the pension age.

The shed offers the chance for men to get stuck into woodworking, engineering, and cooking workshops, as well tend its attached own garden, the produce from which is donated to the food bank.

It also hosts men’s health sessions, writing groups, and a card and chess day on Thursdays.

“We have tutoring on computers and phones – where blokes might be struggling to send photos to the grandkids,” Bush said.

Men are welcome to bring their dogs along – there are onsite kennels – so they can walk around Henley Lake with them while on their lunch break.

“It’s very much about seeing blokes achieve things, and often it’s something out of their comfort zone – they’ve seen somebody making something in the shed and think ‘I’d love to give that a go at doing that’, and that wasn’t a part of their background.

“They can have a go at it and can make something – maybe not the first time – but as long as they’re having a go and achieving something by doing it,” Bush said.

For men interested in joining, Bush said, HMS is always looking for new members and encourages them to come along.

HMS, 13 Colombo Rd, Masterton.

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