MenzShed given funds toward new building

Members of the Cromwell MenzShed get cosy in their smoko room. They are looking forward to the...
Members of the Cromwell MenzShed get cosy in their smoko room. They are looking forward to the construction of a new building to accommodate their growing numbers and projects with the help of a $120,000 grant from Otago Community Trust. PHOTO: JULIE ASHER
The prospect of a warm, insulated building with a bigger smoko room has become more likely for the Cromwell MenzShed thanks to a grant from Otago Community Trust.

In the March funding round, the Cromwell Menzshed received the largest grant with $120,000 going towards its building project.

Cromwell MenzShed chairman Neville Hucklebridge said land near the transfer station, on Bannockburn Rd, had been earmarked for the new facility and a contract had been let to build the 300sq m shed.

Shed manager Dennis Booth said their current set-up — two containers joined with a tent-like roof and a small smoko hut along with storage spaces — was not big enough and in winter it was extremely cold.

Power tools took up space when in use and there was nowhere to store ongoing projects out of the weather, he said.

A big part of the MenzShed was being a safe environment for men to discuss their health, both physical and mental, so having somewhere to share a cup of tea and chat was key.

Mr Hucklebridge said the grant also meant they could apply for Lottery Grant funding.

The shed’s current cramped space is a health and safety issue for the group which has more than 40 members, although not all are there every week.

They meet twice a week and work on projects from restoring furniture to building planter boxes and other items for community spaces.

MenzShed member Russ Fowler said they had now raised more than half the money needed for the new facility.

The larger space would allow them to at least double their membership and take on more community-led projects.

Otago Community Trust chairman Andy Kilsby said MenzShed provided invaluable services to the Cromwell community through the skills and lifetime experiences they brought.