Who We Are
with humble origins
Men’s sheds or community sheds are non-profit organisations that originated in Australia, to advise and improve the overall health of all men. However some have expanded their remit to anyone regardless of age or gender, and have similar aims and functions to hackerspaces. They normally operate on a local level in the community, promoting social interaction and aim to increase quality of life. There are over 900 located across Australia, with thousands of active members. Men’s sheds can also be found in Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, United States, Canada, Finland, New Zealand and Greece.
The slogan for men’s sheds is “Shoulder To Shoulder”, shortened from “Men don’t talk face to face, they talk shoulder to shoulder”, adopted after the 2008 Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) conference. The users of men’s sheds are known as “shedders”. In 2014, Prof Barry Golding coined the term “shedagogy” to describe “a distinctive, new way of acknowledging, describing and addressing the way some men prefer to learn informally in shed-like spaces mainly with other men. Sheds as a venue for mentoring other men and Inter-generational mentoring is a growing outcome. Academics are using men’s sheds as a research venue and research partner in exploring men’s health and social needs.
an all inclusive group
The first meeting of the Mangawhai Shed was on 25th November 2016.
It followed a small gathering of people the Sunday before, who met in the village hall to share a vision for a community Shed. That meeting set the bounds for what we were and still are, namely an all-inclusive group, open to men women and young people.
With no premises, no money, and no equipment the challenge was how to trial such an idea. Thankfully one person offered his workshop one day a week to get things going. It was of course an immediate success.
Over the next few years, the Mangawhai Shed generated a name for itself in being of service; not just to itself but many other community groups.
It is true to say that with the fun of engagement some direction towards building a new workshop was lost. Members were comfortable in the basic arrangement they enjoyed. That is until the landlord hinted that the property might be for sale. Whilst initially devastating this galvanised the founding members into a cohesive team that gave direction to their efforts.
The group registered itself as an incorporated society on the 26th April 2019 and the hunt began in earnest for a new home nearer to town.
Meanwhile more and more connections were made with local groups providing the team with a rich source of tasks that challenged the mind body and spirit.
It remains the case that when there is a task and a focus there is a buzz about the workshop. And we all look forward to those days.
Come join us some time. The tea and coffee are better than the jokes.
Damian Stansfield, Owen Williams, Roger Handisides, Brian Dahl, and Phil Elrick (Stephen Mackay behind the camera)
is to foster the growth and wellbeing our members
is to provide a venue where our members meet to share, to grow and undertake projects that make Mangawhai a better place to live.