Mens Shed Charitable Trust
7 November 2014
It’s a hive of activity in Santa’s Tauranga workshop as members of the Men’s Shed busy themselves with the manufacture of a range of children’s toys in time for Christmas. The toy making was made possible thanks to a $5000 grant from Legacy Trust to ensure that families in need are given some Christmas cheer next month.
“The toys are destined for families who may not have the opportunity to fund presents for their children,” said Gabrielle Johnson a Trustee of the Men’s Shed. “They are distributed by St Vincent de Paul who work with the families to provide valuable support at a time which can be stressful for many people,” she said.
The toys are crafted from a range of new and recycled wood as well as assorted bits and pieces, according to Dave Harper who works at the Men’s Shed. “We use anything that’s donated to us – whatever it is we’ll find a use for it in the manufacture of our toys,” he said. “The local pre-school groups give us the ideas and we set about building items of interest for that age group,” said Dave.
To date the Men’s Shed has manufactured a shed filled with toys for the Legacy Trust project including miniature airplanes, stoves, wheelbarrows, train sets, trucks, boats, prams, chairs, and blackboards. “The men just enjoy tinkering around here and using their skills,” said Dave. “We’re all handymen who enjoy the camaraderie of the workshop and the opportunity to work with organisations who need our expertise.”
Dave Harper is a boot maker by trade and a builder and joiner. His colleagues cover the spectrum of professions from grocers, jewellers, saw doctors, truck drivers and engineers and all share a passion for helping the community.
“The collaboration between Legacy Trust, the Men’s Shed and St Vincent de Paul is an important partnership for this project,” said Mike Savage from Legacy Trust, who officially opened the Shed four years ago. “We have been supporting the Men’s Shed from the beginning and it’s heartening to see the positive impact they have made to the people in this city,” he said.
Photo: (Left to Right) Men’s Shed members Neville Abbott, Allan Brammer and Dave Harper are joined by Gabrielle Johnson and Mike Savage. Together they are proudly displaying some of the toys made for the Legacy Trust Christmas toy project.