Amid handouts to Australians coping with loss of income owing to the coronavirus, there’s welcome news for those Men’s Sheds across the country who received additional funding through the recently announced National Shed Development Program Round 20 handouts.
Yarram Men’s Shed is in the southeast of Gippsland, an area badly hit by last summer’s bushfires in Victoria. Currently out of bounds with stage 3 coronavirus restrictions in place, the Yarram Men’s Sheds – established more than 20 years ago by the local neighbourhood house, will receive $2575 that will go towards buying new tools and equipment.
"I've been able to visit a number of men's sheds across Gippsland and am always impressed by the contribution the sheds make to their local community and to the volunteers who attend regularly," local MP Darren Chester told The Gippsland Times.
"Men's sheds make a valuable contribution to the community and there's a strong sense of camaraderie and mateship among the blokes who give their time to do something for others - and the level of craftsmanship is terrific.
"The benefits of these sheds to men's health are widely acknowledged.
"This shed, like others across Gippsland, offers support to local men and friendly, easy-going company."
Lithgow Men's Shed, in the Central Tablelands of NSW, received a $6000 grant in the Round 20 handout, which it will spend on new lighting and equipment.
"The Lithgow Men's Shed makes an invaluable contribution to our local community," said Federal Member for Calare and Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education, Andrew Gee.
"The Shed has over forty members and they do some great work for local residents who need their services.
"From carving out frames for paintings, to making tables, chairs and ornaments, there is no limit to what these blokes can do.”
Last year the Australian Federal Government announced $11m of funding to men’s sheds over the next four years as part of the 2020-2030 Men’s Health Strategy.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said that mental health was one of the five priority health issues that the strategy would focus on and that men’s sheds are “probably the best therapy going around because it’s not actual therapy”.
“You are out there doing things. You’re making toys, you’re making craft work, you’re doing things that are creative and supporting yourselves and supporting other people and in the process you’re bringing people into a community group.”
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