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Funding available to help start your own community shed

August 2017

Community shed

Grants are now available for anyone interested in setting up a community Shed.

If you haven’t heard about the Shed movement, you will soon as they are starting up all over the country.

The idea originated initially as Men’s Sheds in Australia. This project saw lots of sheds being created to enable older men to get together and work on either individual or community projects. This covered a huge range of ideas from wood work and push bike repairs to model railway engineering to small restoration projects.

From the start the concept was popular. Suddenly here was a place where men could socialise, get advice, and most important than ever, use equipment to become involved in making great things.

The idea worked so well that seven years ago it was picked up in the UK and now Sheds are a feature of British life too.

The idea in Britain is similar to Australia, creating what is essentially a large version of a garden shed; a place where people feel  at home and can pursue practical interests.  Tools, equipment and ideas can all be shared. The sheds are places of skill sharing and informal teaching as well, a place where people help others complete various projects. There is lots of social interaction as well of course.

While the UK Shed movement was initially set up for older men to come together, today it is seeing increasing numbers of younger men and now women becoming involved. Activities today cover everything from woodwork and metalworking to individual projects such as undertaking bike repair, restoring or painting an individual piece of furniture or model engineering. The Sheds themselves are in a big variety of premises, from specially built huts to rented premises.

Now there is opportunity to apply for a grant to create a Shed in your area. The Royal Voluntary Service, with funding from the Asda Foundation, are running a Sheds Grant Fund to provide small scale funding to Sheds who are looking  for help with either set up or early stage development.

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.”

One grant has already been given to the Knighton Men’s Shed project in Wales. This has enabled the group to rent a premises and also to advertise and promote what it is all about to recruit new members.

Grants are being given for amounts between £250 and £1,000 and have to come in from organised volunteer led community groups. The RVS and Asda Foundation have produced an application form and also guidance notes and the final deadline for this round of funding is September 24th.

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