Communities urged to apply for funding support for ‘shed spaces’

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Community groups in Larne and the wider East Antrim area are being encouraged to apply for a share of the Sheds Grant Fund as it opens again for applications to help support the set-up of community Shed spaces.

Sheds are community workshop spaces 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 networks.

Older people’s charity Royal Voluntary Service, with funding from the Asda Foundation, run the Sheds Grant Fund to provide small scale funding to Sheds who are looking for help with either set up or next stage development costs.

Jo Phillips, Sheds Project Manager at Royal Voluntary Service said: “Each Shed is unique due to its location and the activities that the members want to undertake in the space. Whether it is for woodworking, gardening, model making, weaving or electronics, we are delighted to be able to give a helping hand to local communities who want to get a community based Shed up and running.”

Julie Ward, Manager of the Asda Foundation said: “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.”

The UK Shed movement follows a blueprint from an Australian project and since the first Men’s Shed opened in the UK seven years ago, there are now nearly 400 across the UK opening their doors.

Many Sheds are created to enable older men to come together and work on either individual or community projects – but the movement is increasingly seeing younger men and women getting involved and benefitting from the social interaction and practical skill sharing that are at their heart.

The Sheds Grant Fund is run in conjunction with the four national Shed Associations representing and supporting Sheds in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Grants of between £250 and £1,000 are available from the Sheds Grant Fund. All applications need to come from constituted, volunteer led community groups and must be submitted by the deadline of Sunday, September 24. To download the Application Form visit: www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/sheds