Local community groups are celebrating today after being awarded funding from the Asda Foundation to support their shared workshop spaces.

A total of £15k has been gifted to 19 community projects where people 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 net-works.

Royal Voluntary Service, with funding from the Asda Foundation, established the Sheds Grant Fund in 2015 to provide small scale funding to Sheds who are looking for help with either set up, or early stage development costs. Grants of between £250 and £1,000 were made available – 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.

"We are thrilled that a further 19 Sheds have been awarded funding through the Asda and Royal Voluntary Service grants scheme. Men’s Sheds are making a real difference to their communities across the UK and this funding boost will go a long way in furthering that positive impact. For some of these grant recipients it will be the catalyst they need to get their Sheds up and running after months of development, and for others it will help to create safer and more sustainable Sheds, enabling them to continue being enjoyed by many in the community for years to come."

Victoria Little, Director of Services for the UK Men’s Sheds Association

"Most sheds are started by local groups coming together due to a shared interest in traditional crafts such as joinery, furniture renovation, metal work and mechanics. We are delighted to be able to administer the Grant Funds so that these skills can flourish in a friendly and sociable environment, and that more local community based Sheds can get up and running."

Abigail Hurrell, Sheds Project Manager at Royal Voluntary Service

“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.”

Annmarie Rocks, Senior Coordinator at the Asda Foundation

“The Shed Grant Fund has enabled our shed to look into purchasing new equipment and tools to ensure that we have the best for our members to work with. A shed is judged by the quality of the amenities, tools and equipment that they have on offer the members, which in turn affects the quality that we can produce and the grant will go a long way to make sure that we are the best.”

Brian Bastable, Acting Chairman of the Street Men’s Shed

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 and Grant Funds have been awarded to the following Sheds:

  • Stowmarket Meadlands Men’s Shed (Suffolk)
  • Somerset Levels and Moors Shed (Somerset)
  • Brid Men in Sheds (Bridlington)
  • The RWB Shed (Wiltshire)
  • The Fareham Men’s Shed (Hampshire)
  • Street Men’s Shed (Somerset)
  • Okehampton Men in Sheds (Devon)
  • Dunton Green Shed Project (Kent)
  • Clevedon Men’s Shed (Somerset)
  • RamSHED (Cambridgeshire)
  • Sherwood Men’s Shed (Kent)
  • Swansea Community Workshop (Swansea)
  • The Den Men’s Shed (Cardiff)
  • Hirwuan and Area Men’s Shed (Mid Glamorgan)
  • Kelso Men’s Shed (Roxburghshire)
  • Ferryhill Men’s Shed (Aberdeen)
  • Kennoway Community Shed (Fife)
  • Orkney Men’s Shed (Orkney)
  • Breadalbane Men’s Shed (Perth & Kinross)

To find out more about Royal Voluntary Service and Asda Foundation Sheds Grant Fund @rvssheds on Twitter for regular updates.

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