Making progress . . . Neville Hucklebridge (left) and Russell Fowler (right) on one of the possible sites when the idea of a Cromwell Menz Shed was first mooted. It will soon be based at the Cromwell Racecourse. PHOTO: ALEXIA JOHNSTON


This time last year, the idea of a Cromwell Menz Shed was just a dream.

It has since become a reality, thanks to a dedicated team of committee members who have welcomed almost 50 men on to its books, along with numerous community based jobs.

Members recently built a playhouse, which was auctioned to raise funds for the Cromwell Primary School.

They have also painted the town’s scout hall toilets, refurbished The Hangout youth centre and are now doing jobs at the Cromwell Kindergarten.

The work is something members are only too happy to do.

As Cromwell Menz Shed spokesman Dennis Booth puts it: “The guys have been really enthusiastic. They aren’t sitting on the couch anymore and are feeling good about things”.

He said the group was just as much about keeping good mental health as much as it was about doing good in the community.

“It’s not all about work.

“You get to a certain age, you are retired and then wonder what you are going to do.”

Mr Booth said the men were enjoying the concept and everything it stood for.

“They are enjoying the comradeship and being able to use their tools again; and feeling useful again.”

While some of their projects will be short one-off jobs, others will be more long-term, such as notice boards for the Lake Dunstan Cycle Trail.

Mr Booth said the group had been approached to construct about 40 of the noticeboard style signs.

However, Cromwell Menz Shed has one of its own projects to complete first – establishing a base at the Cromwell Racecourse using three containers, which will be positioned in a U-shape.

It was hoped to finish the project by Christmas, all going to plan, Mr Booth said.

The facility will measure about 12m x 4.8m and will be covered.

He said the land was likely to be prepared this week and once completed the group “will be away laughing”.

The group does not have a shed to work from at the moment. Instead, it has been completing jobs on-site.

“The biggest thing is to get established out at the racecourse. Once we get the containers out there, we’ll be right into it.”

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