A local community group in Bedford is celebrating today after funding was awarded to their community shed space from the Asda Foundation.
A total of £732 has been awarded to Bedford Men’s Shed where people can come together to take part in practical skills and activities.
They are designed and run by their members and provide opportunities for people to share tools, resources and skills in order to create, learn and develop social networks.
The charity Royal Voluntary Service, with funding from the Asda Foundation, established the Sheds Grant Fund to provide small scale funding to sheds who are looking for help with either set up, or early stage development costs.
Grants of between £250 and £1,000 were made available – with applicants encouraged to apply for some of the tools and equipment they need for their activities or ongoing costs such as help with their rent or insurance.
Jo Phillips, sheds project manager at Royal Voluntary Service, said: “Shed activities often involve traditional crafts such as joinery, furniture renovation, metal work and mechanics, but each shed meets the interests of its members and many now are developing a broader range of activities such as gardening, model making, photography or renovation. “We are delighted to be able to set up this grant fund to give a helping hand to local communities and enable more local community based sheds to get up and running across Britain.”
Julie Ward, senior manager of the Asda Foundation, said: “The Asda Foundation is one of the many ways we can give something back to our local communities.
“That’s why we lend a hand to a wide range of good causes with which our colleagues are involved with, sharing their passion and helping to make a difference through a variety of projects across the UK.
“We see the Sheds programme as making a real difference at a grassroots level and are proud to support this initiative.”
The Shed movement follows a blueprint from an Australian project and since the first ‘men’s shed’ opened in the UK six years ago.
There are now over 300 in the UK with three new sheds on average opening a week.
To find out more about Royal Voluntary Service and Asda Foundation Sheds Grant Fund visit: www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/sheds