One of Gippsland’s newest men’s sheds has just moved into its new home – and has received a double grant bonus of more than $10,000 to start fitting it out with essential equipment.
The Twins Rivers Men’s Shed has been operating for around 18 months, but until earlier this year the volunteers had been meeting at the Johnsonville Public Hall.
Now they’ve got a temporary home – a shed, of course – in Whelans Road, Swan Reach.
Local MP Darren Chester today announced the Twin Rivers Men’s Shed would receive $5550 through the National Shed Development Program to buy essential safety equipment and undergo training.
This funding is in addition to a $4750 grant which the men’s shed secured through the Volunteers Grant program to set up its new home.
“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,” Mr Chester said.
“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, offer support to local men and friendly, easy-going company.”
The Twin Rivers Men’s Shed now has around 30 members who attend the regular gatherings and come from the broader Twin Rivers area.
Twin Rivers Men’s Shed Secretary Peter Payne said the grant money was invaluable to the new volunteer group.
“We’re just getting set up, so there are a lot of things that we need such as tables, chairs and storage equipment,” Mr Payne said.
“We had quite a few fellows in this area who have wanted to be part of a men’s shed and get involved in a community project, so it is great to have somewhere to call home and get things started.”
The Twin Rivers Men’s Shed was among 16 community groups in Gippsland to successfully apply for a volunteer grants, and was one of four men’s sheds in Gippsland to receive funding through the National Shed Development Program.
Mr Chester said the grants helped to acknowledge the work and commitment of locals who gave up their time for others.
“While the work of our volunteers may be unpaid, it is not unrecognised,” Mr Chester said.
“Through the Volunteer Grants program, we can give them a helping hand and make their roles as volunteers easier and more enjoyable.
“Volunteers are the lifeblood of our community and by continuing to help each other and work together, we are building a stronger and safer Gippsland.”