Men’s Sheds are safe and productive spaces for men to work on common projects, form friendships and give back to their community.
There are almost 1,000 Men’s Sheds across the country, and more than 360 in Victoria. Around 15,000 people attend a Men’s Shed in Victoria each day.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos is encouraging Victorian Men’s Shed groups to apply for State Government grants. Up to $60,000 is available to build new Men’s Sheds, and up to $30,000 to upgrade or refurbish existing ones.
According to mental health support group Beyondblue, 3 million Australians are living with anxiety or depression. The idea behind Men's Sheds is to provide a place where men can gather, talk, share skills and work together. Finding mates in this way helps combat feelings of social isolation and depression.
The original Men's Sheds were set up by volunteers acting on their own initiative, and the idea caught on quickly. An incorporated body, the Australian Men’s Shed Association, was established in NSW in January 2007.
The Victorian Men’s Shed Association was established later that year, and similar organisations appeared in other states over the next few years. The Federal Government recognised the role that Men’s Sheds play in addressing men's mental health and well-being by including funding in the 2010 National Male Health Policy.
Each year, the State Government provides $1 million to support Men’s Sheds in Victoria, including $114,000 to the Victorian Men’s Shed Association.
Applications for grants close on Friday 8 June. For more information, visit providers.dhhs.vic.gov.au/mens-shed-program.
To find a Men's Shed near you, visit mensshed.org/find-a-shed.