TWO local Men’s Sheds have hit the jackpot with generous Federal Government grants to fund a new shed and comfortable amenities.
Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien surprised members with an announcement today (Wed October 3) of $84,000 funding to Coolum Men’s Shed and $90,000 for Sunshine Valley Men’s Shed.
Coolum will use the money to erect a second shed to diversify its activities while Sunshine Valley will install a much needed kitchen, toilet and showers.
Mr O’Brien said local Men’s Sheds were going from strength to strength and these grants would help expand their capacity.
“The Coolum Men’s Shed has reached a membership of 79 and has a fantastic woodwork and metalwork area in their existing shed which also doubles as a meeting room and kitchen,” said Mr O’Brien.
“This $84,000 will pay for the cost of laying a concrete slab, erecting another shed and connecting water, power and sewage.
“It means the Coolum Men’s Shed will have two buildings – one for their traditional woodwork and metal work and the other space to house new activities like art and computer skills to diversify their membership.
“Sunshine Valley will use its $90,000 to install much-needed amenities that will improve the day-to-day use of their meeting hub.
“They’ll be able to make cups of tea and use bathroom facilities on site without having to traipse up the hill to the toilet.”
The funding falls under the Community Development Grants Programme and Mr O’Brien has put a lot of energy into advocating on behalf of the local Men’s Sheds.
“Men’s Sheds play a critical role in addressing mental health and social inclusion issues and the movement is helping lead the way in rebuilding civil society.”
Coolum Men’s Shed president Russell Lunn said “noisy” activities like woodwork and metal work would be shifted into the new shed.
“This funding will give us the room to attract new members and different people through activities,” said Mr Lunn.
“We would have had to sell a lot of sausage sizzles to raise this much money so this funding has come at the right time and it has taken a lot of pressure off our fundraising.”
Sunshine Valley Men’s Shed vice president James Wilson said the new amenities would make a huge difference to the comfort of members.
“It completes our operation here and allows us to attract more members and make it comfortable. It will be nice to have the facilities here for them.”