Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, was pleased to announce more than $8000 in Australian Government funding for Men’s Shed projects at Glen Innes and Bingara.
Bingara Community Men’s Shed is receiving $7500 to upgrade its building’s kitchen facilities while Glen Innes Men’s Shed Inc will receive $870 for tool and equipment purchases such as high speed drill sets, welding helmets, industrial first aid kits and a sandblaster. It complements a $7000 grant the Glen Innes group received late last year install a dust extraction system for the health and safety of its members.
Men’s Sheds around Australia offer a friendly, welcoming environment where men can connect with each other without pressure. They can work on projects or just hang out.
Glen Innes Men’s Shed President Jim Wilson said the funding is making a real difference to the lives of local members through social connection.
“It’s really rewarding for the blokes that they are being recognised,” Mr Wilson said.
Mr Joyce congratulated the local Men’s Sheds on their successful grants.
“Like similar sheds across the New England, the Bingara and Glen Innes sheds offer great benefits to fellas who need a bit of space and some friendly, easy-going company,” Mr Joyce said.
“With recent figures showing the rate of suicide among Australian men was more than three times that of women, it’s important we continue to fund organisations like Men’s Sheds which are helping to address mental health issues in our region.”
Heath Minister Greg Hunt said although mental illness affects both men and women, men are less likely to seek help or talk about their feelings.
“Feeling part of a social group is important to our emotional and mental health and every day Men’s Sheds around the country provide men with an opportunity for companionship,” Minister Hunt said.
This latest funding has been awarded under Round 16 of the Federal Coalition Government’s National Shed Development Program and forms part of $5.1 million in grants over three years committed to the program. Last year Men’s Sheds at Manilla and Walcha shared in a further $8000 in Australian Government funding.