Northern Ireland Mens Sheds Campaign for Investment
NIRN Members Be Safe Be Well and Irish Mens Shed association have taken a practical set of asks to Stormont. With First Minister and cross-party acknowledgment on the benefits of men’s sheds at every level, the local groups have set out a clear vision for the future of Mens Sheds in Northern Ireland.
At base level, they are asking for small maintenance grants for the 70 existing Mens Sheds in Northern Ireland, to enable them to keep their doors open. This grant is already available to Mens Sheds in the Republic of Ireland as was announced last year by Minister Humphrey with a generous 800 Euros invested.
We already know how resourceful Mens Sheds can be, with small pots of funding going a very long way. A well worth Investment if successful in their campaign. More of this please? Yes, the group are also asking for further funding to open new sheds, develop workshops and reach even more men with hidden skills and needs. Keeping men’s health and wellbeing central to their work, Northern Ireland Mens Sheds are also asking for support to develop a health program, like that in the ROI, where ‘Sheds for Life’ programmes are tailored to individual sheds.
When we take a step back to review the multitude of benefits that Mens Sheds provide within their local communities, we feel it’s fair to say this isn’t a lot to ask when you break it down. In fact, the initial small investment will surely make a generational impact, with long lasting results. What group doesn’t want security, to do more of what they already do well. We wish them all the very best and look forward to watching this space!
Feeling positive about the future, Catherine Taylor from Be Safe Be Well told NIRN “There is work to be done but this is a great start and we were delighted to present our journey so far at Stormont”.