National Sheds Grant Fund Launches

Monday, 25 April 2016 Man and woman discuss handiwork projectLocal community groups across the UK are today 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.

Royal Voluntary Service, with funding from the Asda Foundation, have 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.

"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."

Jo Phillips, Sheds Project Manager

"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."

Julie Ward, Manager of the Asda Foundation
The Shed movement follows a blueprint from an Australian project and since the first Men’s Shed opened in the UK 6 years ago, there are now over 300 in the UK 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.

The Fund is being supported by each of the National Sheds Associations across the regions.

"Most Sheds are started by local groups coming together to meet a common need and this funding scheme will be a vital help, particularly to those that have just formed. It is very encouraging for groups to be able to approach a funder that is sympathetic to your planned work when in its earliest stages."

Mike Jenn, Chair of UK Men’s Sheds Association

"We’re working towards a future where all men have the opportunity to improve and maintain their health and well-being by participating in a community Men’s Shed. The support being offered by the Royal Voluntary Service and the ASDA Foundation is greatly welcomed and will make a significant difference towards the sustainability of our Shed’s and the communities they operate in Northern Ireland."

Barry Sheridan, CEO of the Irish Men’s Sheds Association

"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."

Jason Schroeder, Chairman of the Scottish Men’s Sheds Association
Grants of between £250 and £1,000 are available from the Sheds Grant 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.

"One attraction of the Men’s Sheds model is that they are relatively simple and inexpensive to run and our members simply need small amounts of revenue, just like the ‘Sheds Grant Fund’ offers, to enable them to cover some basic running costs such as insurance, peppercorn rents and of course the electricity to boil the kettle!"

Rhodri Walters, Project Manager of Men’s Sheds Cymru
All applications need to come from constituted community groups and must be submitted by the deadline of Sunday 3rd July to be considered.

Find out more about Royal Voluntary Service and Asda Foundation Sheds Grant Fund and download the Application Form and Guidance Notes. Follow @rvssheds on Twitter for regular updates.

For further information

Royal Voluntary Service is one of the largest volunteering charities in Britain powered by more than 35,000 volunteers who regularly provide practical help to over 100,000 older people in their homes, communities and in hospitals.

To become a local volunteer search for volunteering opportunities in your area. Or help make a difference by making a secure online donation.

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