The Morrison-Joyce Government is providing an early Christmas present to 166 Men’s Sheds across the country, who will receive a share of $500,000 to continue to support the health of men through the National Shed Development Programme (NSDP).
Many of the grants, of up to $10,000, will be used to purchase lifesaving defibrillators, IT equipment and provide training.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said there are more than 1,000 Men’s Sheds across the nation, and they play a vital role in preventing social isolation and mental ill health.
“Men’s Sheds offer thousands of men of all ages a safe and friendly environment where they can work on meaningful projects and build social connections,” Minister Hunt said.
“Since 2013, the Coalition Government has provided more than $6.4 million to support Men’s Sheds through the programme.”
The Government also took action to help alleviate social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic by prioritising applications for IT equipment and training, which helps to maintain friendships and connection to shed projects and reduces social isolation.
Minister for Regional Health, Dr David Gillespie, said the Government awards grants to Men’s Sheds in three categories – health and wellbeing events, shed improvements, and tools and equipment.
“Many Sheds were forced to close their doors this year due to the pandemic, however that didn’t stop the shed community from staying connected. Coordinators made sure their members felt valued and part of a strong, positive community during such a difficult time,” Dr Gillespie said.
“Men’s Sheds are an integral part of their local communities and support many men in many ways. Our Government will continue to support regional and rural Men’s Sheds as part of our comprehensive approach to improving the health of Australian men.”
A Men’s Shed can range from purpose-built facilities, multipurpose buildings, or shared spaces that are used regularly to foster positive community spirit among men.
Sheds are able to apply for funding and grants up to a total of $10,000, with priority given to sheds in disadvantaged areas.
The NSDP provides funding to Men’s Sheds through a competitive grants process.
Applications for Round 23 of the NSDP will be opened in mid-January 2022.