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Pat Conaghan MP

Men’s Sheds set to grow in 2020

The Men’s Shed movement grew stronger nationally and locally in 2019 with the Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed adding about 40 new members and the fledgling Bungaden shed attracting eight.

Next year is shaping up to be a great year for the sheds after the Federal Government awarded $20,000 to the Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed for a ducted dust extraction system and $3963 to the Bungaden Men’s Shed for new tools.

Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan welcomed the investment, saying Men’s Sheds make a valuable contribution to men’s health and well-being.

“Traditionally, Australian culture has taught men not to talk about their feelings and emotions and this has meant men don’t usually ask for help,” he said.

“By replicating the traditional backyard shed, Men’s Sheds provide a safe and busy environment where men do woodwork and metalwork and other activities while talking together. This helps improve men’s health and well-being.

“These grants also put some welcome money into the tills of our local businesses and I am pleased to see the $150,000 worth of Stronger Communities Programme Round 5 grants starting to flow into our local economy.”

Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed President Ken Ryan said the grant would help take the club’s Howard Street shed to the next level.

“We have been raising money for a long time through our monthly garage sales for a large-scale dust extraction system,” Mr Ryan said.

“The dust extractor will be connected to about 15 work stations and it will help keep the air clean and the dust down, making it an even better place to work in.

“Local Coffs Harbour business Faircloth & Reynolds will install the $42,000 custom system.”

Bungaden Men’s Shed President Greg Ryan said the $3963 grant would provide new tools and personal protective equipment for the group’s shed located about 20 kilometres south of Coffs Harbour.

“The Bungaden Men’s Shed is just two years old, so we are starting from scratch with some tools donated to us,” he said.

“With this money we will buy a compound saw, planer, bench grinder, circular saw, welding kit, sheet metal cutter and other new tools. It inspires everyone when we have new tools to use and together we are planning to build a bamboo gazebo for our communal space.”

The grant for the Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed was delivered through the Stronger Communities Programme Round 5. Worth $22.65 million nation-wide, this programme will provide $150,000 to community groups in the electorate of Cowper.

The grant for the Bungaden Men’s Shed was delivered through Round 19 of the National Shed Development Programme, administered by the Australian Men’ Shed Association.

Further Stronger Communities Programme Round 5 grants are expected to be awarded in the coming weeks.

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