Volunteer groups across Scotland are being encouraged to apply for a share of a new grant fund to help support the set-up of community shed spaces.

Sheds are community workshop spaces where people can come together to take part in practical skills and activities.

They are designed and run by their members and provide opportunities for people to share tools, resources and skills in order to create, learn and develop social networks.

Older people’s charity Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), with funding from the Asda Foundation, has established a Sheds Grant Fund to provide small scale funding to sheds who are looking for help with either set up, or early stage development costs.

The sheds programme makes a real difference at a grassroots level
Jo Phillips, sheds project manager at RVS, said: “Shed activities often involve traditional crafts such as joinery, furniture renovation, metal work and mechanics, but each shed meets the interests of its members and many now are developing a broader range of activities such as gardening, model making, photography or renovation.

“We are delighted to be able to set up this grant fund to give a helping hand to local communities and enable more local community based sheds to get up and running across Scotland.”

Julie Ward, manager of the Asda Foundation, said: “The Asda Foundation is one of the many ways we can give something back to our local communities. That’s why we lend a hand to a wide range of good causes with which our colleagues are involved with, sharing their passion and helping to make a difference through a variety of projects across the UK. 
“We see the sheds programme as making a real difference at a grassroots level and are proud to support this initiative.”

The shed movement follows a blueprint from an Australian project and since the first men’s shed opened in the UK six years ago.

There are now over 300, with three new sheds on average opening a week. Sheds are often places for older men to come together and work on either individual or community projects – but are now increasingly seeing younger men and women getting involved and benefitting from the social interaction and skill sharing that are at their heart.

Jason Schroeder, chairman of the Scottish Men’s Sheds Association, said: “We are thrilled that by working together with our national partners we can support this kind of initiative to help benefit individuals, their families, communities and the Scottish Men’s Shed movement in Scotland.”

Grants of between £250 and £1,000 are available from the fund – with applicants encouraged to apply for some of the tools and equipment they need for their activities or ongoing costs such as help with their rent or insurance.

All applications need to come from constituted community groups and must be submitted by the deadline of Sunday, 3 July to be considered.

To find out more, visit here.

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