Hard work pays off for Hibiscus Coast Men’s Shed

Last Updated : 31 Oct 2023
Ray Benfiet and Maurice Browning fixing an outdoor table at the Hibiscus Coast Men's Shed.

Slow and steady wins the race and that’s certainly true for The Hibiscus Coast Men’s Shed which opened recently in Silverdale.

Eight years of hard work and tenacity have led to a new purpose-built facility which stands on the old bowling club grounds at Silverdale War Memorial Park.

Hibiscus and Bays Local Board Chair Gary Brown congratulates everyone involved and says all the hard work, fundraising and community effort has paid off.

“This project has been possible because of the drive and determination of the men’s shed and incredible community support that has helped every step of the way.

“Our local board is proud to have been involved in finding a permanent home for the men’s shed.”

The shed’s customised design and large floor space are important for day-to-day operations and up to 45 'sheddies' can work there at any time.

President Maurice Browning is thrilled with the modern facility and appreciates all the community support including for the fit out.

“We are grateful for everyone’s contribution and all the donations we have received. Visitors entering the shed will see a large sponsorship board thanking the businesses, organisations and individuals who have been instrumental to the construction and development of the shed.”

Since 2017, the local board has invested approximately $118,000 in the project through its contestable grants programme. Grants have helped with a feasibility study, the shed’s concrete slab and fit out, security cameras and various tools.

Hibiscus and Bays Deputy Chair Julia Parfitt says the larger floor area will make a huge difference to the shed’s members and the community.

“Having a forum and physical location where members can relax, and network supports their personal well-being and health. This is a great place to meet and draw on their collective knowledge and skills to support community-based projects.”

Former local board member Janet Fitzgerald has been involved right from the start of the project.

“Trustees past and present have put in a huge amount of effort and the new shed is testament to all that. It’s amazing, the projects that can happen now the new, larger shed is up and running. Enjoy every moment.”

Members come from all walks of life and are extending their knowledge and growing their skills while working on projects at their own pace.

Fitzgerald says that the shed is not just about making things.

“It's also sitting down at morning tea having a chat with other men about their issues and resolving them. Mental wellness is a huge part of the men's shed."

Browning agrees that being able to connect with others can greatly assist personal wellbeing.

“Friendly chats over a cuppa are the norm in the spacious lunchroom. Good health is paramount to us all, and we want to create a safe atmosphere of friendship and fellowship.”

Along with the lunchroom, the shed has workshops for woodwork and metalwork with other areas set up for hobby work and IT /electronics.

Situated at 12 Hibiscus Coast Highway, the shed is open five mornings a week with information and contact details available at hibshed.org.nz.

Brown says, “The men’s shed has an amazing track record and members are always willing to go that extra mile to help others.”

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