Men’s Shed’s grant

DONE DEAL: Sebastopol Men’s Shed president Les Shimmin and Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard shake hands. Picture: Supplied

DONE DEAL: Sebastopol Men’s Shed president Les Shimmin and Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard shake hands. Picture: Supplied

A $60,000 grant from the state government means the Sebastopol Men’s Shed now has enough funding for the construction of its new facility, its president Les Shimmin said.

Member for Buninyong, Geoff Howard, announced the grant on Friday morning from the shed’s current Yarrowee Street location, a building which is on loan from a local builder.

Mr Howard said the state government had increased the funding for new men’s sheds in Victoria from up to $50,000 to as much as $60,000, with the Sebastopol Men’s Shed receiving the maximum amount.

“We now have enough [funding] with the grant,” Mr Shimmin said. “Now we’ve got to start from the ground up.”

“We can’t give a time frame until we get all the council permits and permission but the council has been really helpful so it won’t take long. Once it starts it will only take a few months [to build].”

Altogether $147,500 has been raised through the federal government, state government, community organisations, local businesses and crowdfunding.

It’s enough for the new facility to include a woodwork and metalwork area, office space, training and presentation space, kitchen and dining space, and disability access.

Currently there are 70 members at the Sebastopol Men’s Shed, but Mr Shimmin expected this number to increase following the move to the new location.

“We give labour to various community groups so they get their projects done and it gives us something to do as well,” Mr Shimmin said. “You can just see how the guys come out of their shells within a few weeks [of being here].”

Mr Shimmin said the new facility on Vickers Street was ideal being so close to Ballarat Community Health, an organisation which has already done a lot of work for the Sebastopol Men’s Shed.

“They’ve done a lot of the work for the grants and helped us with guidance. We’ve got guys who have had strokes that go to Ballarat Community Health,” he said. “Once we’re [located] just behind them it’s a matter of a two minute walk if that.”