SPICe FAQ – Men’s Sheds

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SPICe has recently had a flurry of enquiries from MSPs regarding funding streams for groups wishing to set up a local Men’s Shed.

A Men’s Shed is a workshop where men can go to work on projects, crafts or repairs. ”Shedders” can borrow tools, use workshop space and learn new skills. Men’s Sheds are also used as a way of tackling social isolation. Men are invited to go along and meet other people in their area on a social basis in a different setting from normal community groups. A Men’s Shed can be set up by a local charity or community group.

It can be quite expensive to start a Men’s Shed, as there are the costs of leasing, buying or even building a workshop, sourcing tools and advertising in the local area. For anyone looking to create a Men’s Shed, there are a few good places to start:

Scottish Men’s Shed Association

The Scottish Men’s Sheds Association’s “The overall purpose of the organisation is to ensure that all men in Scotland have access to opportunities for increased citizenship and community development through the Scottish Men’s Sheds Association to impact positively on their health, wellbeing and education of them and their communities.”. The association website has lots of useful information on starting a Men’s Shed and also has a dedicated funding page.

Royal Voluntary Service/ ASDA Men’s Shed Fund

ASDA, in association with the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), has started a designated fund to help set up local Men’s Sheds, and help them grow. The fund is currently open but the latest round of applications close on 24 June 2018. Application deadlines are normally quarterly. More information on who is eligible and how to apply can be found on the RVS website.

Big Lottery Awards for All Scotland

The Awards for All Scotland fund, provided by the Big Lottery, can help with start-up costs for new Men’s Sheds. Voluntary and Community groups can apply for £300 – £10,000 in funding. Applications are always open and more information on who is eligible, as well as how to apply, can be found on the Big Lottery website.

UK Men’s Shed Association

The UK Men’s Sheds Association is the support body for Men’s Sheds across the UK. It provides support in a number of ways to individuals and groups wanting to start Sheds. It also provides lifetime support to existing Men’s Sheds, helping them to stay safe and sustainable. The UK Men’s Shed Association website has a section on available support. Please be aware some areas of the website, such as possible funding streams, are only available to Association members.

Lindsay Richardson, Enquiries Assistant, SPICe