Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD has today (Monday, 20th November 2023) announced a new €1 million Fund to support Men’s Sheds across the country.
Under the initiative, grants of up to €3,000 will be provided to 435 Men’s Sheds across the country.
The funding is designed to assist Men’s Sheds with their running costs such as their heating, electricity utility and insurance bills.
The Minister made the announcement at ‘Shedfest’, the National Conference of the Irish Men’s Sheds Association (IMSA), in Virginia, County Cavan.
Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said:
“The emergence of our Men’s Sheds has been a hugely positive development for communities right across Ireland.
“They help tackle isolation and provide a safe, comfortable and welcoming environment where men of all ages can come together to socialise, share skills and work on meaningful projects.
“As we enter the winter months, the supports that our Men’s Sheds provide are more important than ever.
“I’m therefore delighted to announce this new €1 million initiative, which will see 435 Men’s Sheds supported with grants of up to €3,000.
“This funding builds on last year’s fund of €800,000 to support Men’s Sheds, and just shows the long term commitment to Men’s Sheds from this government.”
Minister Humphreys added:
“I was delighted to meet with so many of the members of Men’s Sheds at their first ever national conference in Virginia, County Cavan, which is called ‘Shedfest’.
“As Minister for Rural and Community Development, I regularly meet Men’s Sheds and I am very proud of the work they do and the contribution they make to their communities.
“I have no doubt that this funding that I am announcing today will give a help hand to Men’s Sheds in terms of paying a bill or perhaps carrying out small improvements to the facilities.”
Minister of State, Joe O’Brien also said:
“I recognise and acknowledge the positive role of Men’s Sheds in the context of social inclusion all over the country and welcome this funding to assist them as they continue that work.
“I have met with many Men’s Sheds in my role in the Department of Rural and Community Development and their contribution to their communities is second to none.
“I want to thank all of the 435 Men’s Sheds for their work and voluntarism and I have no doubt this funding will be a big help.”
Also welcoming the funding, Enda Egan, CEO of the Irish Men’s Sheds Association, said:
“We are delighted with today’s announcement and we’re grateful to Minister Humphreys for her ongoing support for the sheds. The Men’s Shed movement was hit very hard by the Covid pandemic with weekly attendance numbers falling from 10,000 pre-covid to approximately 6,000 currently. This announcement is a major a boost for us in the Irish Men’s Sheds Association to know that this funding can be utilised by sheds to pay for their utility bills throughout this winter and mitigate against the increased cost of running a Men’s shed. This funding will help greatly towards the sustainability of Ireland’s 435 Men’s Sheds as many continue to struggle to re-open and remain operational post-covid. There is no doubt Shed members up and down the country, and their communities will benefit greatly from this funding and I know that the support from Minister Humphreys is much appreciated by all shed members.”