Men's Sheds across the Port Macquarie-Hastings are back in full swing after a almost four-month lay off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each of the region's five Men's Sheds - two in Port Macquarie and one each in Wauchope, Laurieton and Kendall - have also implemented strict health guidelines as part of their operational plans.
COVID-19 guidelines include restricting the number of members allowed inside while all sheds are adhering to NSW Health recommendations on hygiene and other measures.
Port Macquarie Men's Shed is restricted to 20 members at any one time but that hasn't meant any less enthusiasm for a return.
Secretary Dennis Woods said it had been wonderful being at home for three months. "But I think that we've all realised how much we enjoy being at the shed with our fellow club members," he added.
"It was great being home, but we've found that we need to be doing things - we have some wonderful craftsmen at our shed.
"It is also really nice to be working as a team again."
Port Macquarie Men's Shed operates Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am until 3pm on Central Road.
Wauchope Men's Shed's John Ridgway said the centre is operating with a COVID-19 safety management plan.
"We've completed the safety induction for all members and everyone understands the need to act responsibly toward our fellow members," he said.
"We have a club membership of about 32 members and everyone is participating really well.
Interestingly, we are receiving really good enquiry since we reopened in early July.John Ridgway
"Interestingly, we are receiving really good enquiry since we reopened in early July."
Wauchope Men's Shed meets at the Wauchope showground on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
Laurieton Men's Shed vice president Richard Curry said selected members spent the COVID-19-induced break undertaking important maintenance work.
Boasting around 190 members, the shed has already signed up six news members since relaunching.
"We are generally that busy that having the time off gave us the opportunity to do some much-needed maintenance work," he said.
"And we also sprayed the entire factory and operating areas with chlorine as recommended by NSW Health and government departments.
"We only came back last week but had 19 guys on the Wednesday and 25 on the Friday."
Mr Curry said the more popular days for the shed were Monday, Tuesday and Thursday because "it doesn't clash with golf or bowls".
The Laurieton Men's Shed is on Diamond Head Road and operates Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9am until 3pm and Wednesday and Friday from 9am until noon.
The Newport Village Men's Shed operates each Tuesday from 9am to noon.
President Geoff Thorley said the shed is operating but on restricted numbers.
"We have about 14 members and a shed full of gear that everyone enjoys utilising," Mr Thorley said.
"There are a few projects that get done but things are reasonably quiet given the COVID-19 pandemic."
The concept of the men's shed is a place where men can go, they can talk, chat and socialise while having an interest in men's health and ongoing welfare.Bruce Simpson
Kendall Men's Shed secretary Bruce Simpson said members returned to the shed on July 14.
"Everyone is extremely pleased to be back in action," he said.
"The concept of the men's shed is a place where men can go, they can talk, chat and socialise while having an interest in men's health and ongoing welfare.
"This is important for men's broader health - if we didn't have access to the men's shed there would certainly be concerns about ongoing health issues."
The Kendall Men's Shed operates from the Kendall Showground and is open on Tuesday from 8am until 3pm and Thursday 8am until noon.
Mr Simpson said the shed catered to a range of needs for its members.
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