THE KEMPSEY Macleay Men's Shed group is one step closer to achieving its aim of moving sheds - while the Bellingen shed is also a big winner - thanks to an Australian Government grant worth almost $7500.
Local MP Pat Conaghan said Round 20 of the National Shed Development Program had been awarded this week by Minister for Health, Greg Hunt - and four Men's Sheds in the Cowper electorate would receive a share of almost $25,000.
"Sheds offer men and their communities a critical avenue for social support and engagement," Mr Conaghan said.
"I visited the Kempsey Macleay Men's Shed on Thursday and it is growing in numbers, offers Ladies' Day on Tuesdays and the group has great plans to expand in a new shed at the Golf Course.
"This group is typical of all the Men's Sheds across the electorate, where they are going from strength to strength and are helping the whole community."
Mr said the latest round of the National shed Development Program will provide:
- Bellingen Men's shed $7500 for a dust and wood chip extraction system and tools
- Kempsey Macleay Men's Shed $7480 for the electricity supply and set-up
- Stuarts Point Men's Shed $7000 for an outdoor slab from which to build a new multi-purpose space
- Werin Guriguba-Ngurra Men's Shed $2308.30 for workplace health and safety equipment and tools.
Regional Health Minister Mark Coulton said Men's Sheds are particularly important in regional areas.
"In many parts of The Bush, local Men's Sheds are fast becoming one of the most important organisations, one where members make connections and serve their community," he said.
"A total of 121 Men's Sheds are receiving funding under this round."
Kempsey Macleay Men's Shed committee member Bill Holden said the $7480 their club received would set up the electrical supply at the club's new shed on the Kempsey Golf Club's grounds.
"We're still a few months away from moving into the new shed and we are in the process of organising the electricity, amenities and other services," Mr Holden said.
"It will be great when the new shed is up and running because it will be far more viable for the group into the future and it will let us set all our machinery up again from scratch."
Mental health statistics show one-in-eight men will experience depression in their lives and one-in-five men will experience anxiety.
Men's Sheds help men find social support and get them involved in meaningful community projects and shared conversations.