Sheds get boost from Asda Foundation

Men Shed representatives at the cheque presentation
Men Shed representatives at the cheque presentation

Men’s Shed organisations in Angus have received funding from the Asda Foundation to support their workshop spaces.

Forfar and District, Carnoustie and Monifieth, and Arbroath were among 16 recipients, with the foundation issuing a combined £15,000 in funding.

Older people’s charity Royal Voluntary Service, with funding from the Asda Foundation, established the Sheds Grant Fund to provide small scale funding to sheds looking for help with either set up, or early stage development costs. Grants of between £250 and £1000 were made available – with applicants encouraged to apply for some of the tools and equipment they need for their activities or ongoing costs such as help with their rent or insurance.

Jo Phillips, sheds project manager at Royal Voluntary Service, said: “Most sheds are started by local groups coming together due to a shared interest in traditional crafts such as joinery, furniture renovation, metal work and mechanics. We are delighted to be able to administer the Grant Funds so that these skills can flourish in a friendly and sociable environment, and that more local community based Sheds can get up and running.”

Julie Ward, senior manager of the Asda Foundation said: “The 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.”

A plaque and cheque was presented to each shed group in Forfar last Thursday. Rob Crossland represented Carnoustie and Monifieth Men’s Shed, while Steve Charlton was there on behalf of Arbroath Men’s Shed and Dave Allen on behalf of Forfar and District Men’s Shed. Forfar Asda’s store manager, Graham Mackenzie, was at the presentation, along with Jo Phillips (project manager with Royal Voluntary Service), Jason Schroeder (executive officer at Scottish Men’s Sheds Association), and Andrea Logan (Forfar Asda’s community champion).

The Shed movement follows a blueprint from an Australian project and the first Men’s Shed opened in the UK six years ago. Sheds are often places for older men to come together and work on either individual or community projects – but are now increasingly seeing younger men and women getting involved and benefitting from the social interaction and skill sharing that are at their heart.