Menz Sheds offer a chance to make new mates while working on community projects.
Menzshed is a volunteer organisation that aims to combat loneliness in men in productive ways. Originally started in Australia, it’s now active in the UK, Ireland, the US and New Zealand too.
The 2005 Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing found that friendship can increase life expectancy by up to 22%. Given loneliness in older men has become prevalent in Western countries, there’s a definite need for initiatives like this one to help guys reconnect. At Menz Sheds, men have the opportunity to work together on practical projects that also benefit the community. This allows them to feel part of something and make friends while being productive. After retirement, older men can often become isolated due to a lack of activities in the community that appeal to them, so this provides a relevant way of engaging and allows them to share their skills.
There are Menz Sheds in every region of New Zealand – from Kaitaia in Northland, to Lumsden in Southland. The Whangarei group recently purchased the city’s old railway station and are in the process of restoring the historic building for use as their new ‘shed’. Previous projects they’ve undertaken include the building of pest traps for Kiwi Coast.
Menzshed provides unique environments in which men can do what they enjoy. If you’re feeling lonely or isolated, or have a family member who you think may benefit from joining a shed, click here to find one near you.