HEYFIELD men’s shed members will soon take ownership of their own tools, after receiving a grant from the federal government.
Gippsland MHR Darren Chester said the popular community men’s shed had been allocated $5000 under round 11 of the National Shed Development Program.
The money will be used to buy new and to replace old equipment, including routers, drills, saws, a dust extractor hose and carving kit.
“The $5000 grant will enable the Heyfield Community Resource Centre Men’s Shed to buy tools that it would otherwise not be able to afford,” Mr Chester said.
“The men’s shed is a vital community asset run by dedicated volunteers who provide a home away from home, and also contribute to the wider community by making furniture and toys.
“Men’s sheds are not only outlets for creativity; they are contributing to the improved mental health and physical wellbeing of participants.”
Heyfield Community Resource Centre spokeswoman Heather Coleman said the shed’s co-ordinator Gerald Molphy and the group had previously found it difficult to source their own tools.
“We have really struggled to get our own equipment and having to borrow from others,” Mrs Coleman said.
“Necessity is the mother of invention and that has definitely been the case for our men’s shed.
“This grant is going to make a huge difference to our members.”
The Heyfield shed has about 30 active and non-active members.
Mrs Coleman said it contributed to the local community by building wood-made products.
“Our members have made nesting boxes, seats and tables installed at the Heyfield wetlands, and Wellington Shire Council also employs us to build park furniture,” she said.
“We also make a huge range of wooden children’s toys, while others also keep themselves busy by bringing in items for renewal and repair.
“Our men love to sit around and have a chat, but they are a very active group as well.”
The National Shed Development Program is administered by the Australian Men’s Shed Association.
It provides men’s sheds with funding up to $8000 through a competitive grants process for tools, equipment, community projects, training, building maintenance and health improvement activities.
The Heyfield shed is open Wednesdays and Thursdays during the school term, from 8.30am to 3pm.