From today, men in the Swan Hill area have a new purpose-built meeting place where they can learn valuable skills, make connections and contribute to their community.

Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos welcomed the opening of the new Swan Hill Men’s Shed today, made possible with a grant of more than $55,000 from the Andrews Labor Government.

The construction provides a purpose-built facility for local shedders, a brand new functional workshop for local men to get together and work on community projects.

The local group plans to conduct workshops to teach skills such as lawn mower repairs and furniture construction, as well as health and wellbeing programs.

These local skills will help construct garden furniture and children’s toys and engage in shared projects with at risk youth.

The shed was opened by Mr Lindsay Oates OAM, President of the Victorian Men’s Shed Association.

Men’s sheds are safe and productive spaces for men to work on common projects, form friendships and give back to their community, with almost 1,000 sheds across the country and more than 360 in Victoria.

The Labor Government provided grants to build 13 new Men’s Sheds across Victoria in 2017, as well as supporting the refurbishment of 10 existing sheds.

This year’s Men’s Shed Funding Program grant round – with $885,000 up for grabs – has an emphasis on supporting Aboriginal men and those from regional areas.

Grant applications can be submitted are open until 5pm on Friday 8 June 2018.

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Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

“Victorian communities are reaping the social benefits of having a men’s shed – blokes are able to access a safe place to have a chat, make new mates and give back to the community with their handiwork.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp

 “This new shed will bring great joy to people across the Swan Hill area, helping build community spirit, by teaching valuable skills, producing fine handiwork and offering a meeting place.”

Quotes attributable to Victorian Men’s Shed Association President Lindsay Oates

 “The new men’s shed in Swan Hill will work in partnership with the Swan Hill Neighbourhood House and Swan Hill District Health, to improve the wellbeing of men in the area.