Organisations from Western Victoria have been encouraged to apply for funding to establish a men’s shed following the announcement of funding which will see new sheds established in areas of high need across the state, the Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney said today.
The Brumby Government announced the $2 million first round of the Men’s Sheds Program Grants, are now available to local organisations that want to establish a Men’s Shed.
“The Men’s Sheds program is helping to reduce social isolation for mature aged men across Victoria,” Ms Tierney said.
“Men’s Sheds give men from all backgrounds a new focus in life, by providing them with a place to meet, opportunities to engage in activities that interest them and access to information on a range of health and wellbeing related issues.”
Studies show that most men involved in men’s sheds are aged over 50-years, with many having experienced life changing circumstances, such as leaving the paid workforce or having significant health problems.
Minister for Senior Victorians, Lisa Neville said because the sheds are often established as part of a broader community organisation, such as a neighbourhood house or community learning centre, they also offer men a variety of opportunities to get involved in their community, education programs or become a volunteer.
While many men still want to join established sports clubs and service organisations, others feel more comfortable in the sort of relaxed and supportive atmosphere that Men’s Sheds offer.
They can also use or learn new skills to create things that are of benefit to others in their local communities – many Men’s Sheds engage with local schools and community groups, providing help with projects ranging from installing disabled access ramps to making billy carts for kids.
There is a groundswell across the country that recognises the benefits that can be gained by individuals and communities from providing mature aged men with places where they can meet, make friends and contribute to their local communities.
The Brumby Government recognises this and that’s why we have provided these grants to help more communities establish a Men’s Shed.
To apply for a Men’s Sheds Program Grant, visit www.grants.dpcd.vic.gov.au or call Information Victoria on 1300 366 356. Applications open on 1 October and close on 14 December 2007.