Under the Australian Government National Shed Development Programme (NSDP), the Australian Government allocated $800,000 this financial year, with a funding pool of $400,000 per round. Over the past five years a total of $1,975,000 has been allocated to assist new and existing Sheds.
Men’s Shed grants support the purchase of tools, equipment, community projects, training, building maintenance and development, and health improvement activities.
In this round of funding, Men’s Sheds received grants of up to $7500 to cover an array of projects including first aid and computer training, startup wood metalwork tools, welders, desktop computers, cover for outdoor working areas, kitchens, disabled toilets and improvements to parking.
Liz MacDonald from the Australian Men's Sheds Association says the organisation is very appreciative of the Government giving money for grants, particularly for the regional and remote areas.
She points out a metropolitan Men's Shed can raise $1000 with one Bunnings BBQ, however it can take up to a year for regional and remote Men's Sheds to raise that amount.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Sussan Ley says the Men’s Shed programme was going from strength to strength and is providing support to Australian men in a way they feel comfortable with.
“Men’s Sheds are a popular way for men to connect with their community—whether it’s through a building project, a first aid workshop or a transition to retirement seminar,” she says.
As well as giving social benefits, Ms MacDonald highlights Men's Sheds are also an important way to communicate to men about their health.
Through its 'Spanner in the Works' initiative, men are encouraged to have regular health checks and information workshops are often held with health practitioners. "One member discovered he had diabetes at one meeting," says Ms MacDonald.
Grants are competitive with priority given to sheds in disadvantaged areas. Further rounds of funding will be available for Men’s Sheds and details can be found on the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) website.