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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Men’s Sheds Association could be forced to close as government withdraws funding

This news post is about 1 year old

The government has provided £570,000 towards the initiative since it was launched in 2014.

The Scottish Government have been urged to rethink a cut to funding which could see a charity which supports more than 200 community projects across the country closing at the end of the financial year. 

Scottish Men’s Shed Association (SMSA) - the group behind hundreds of local groups across Scotland, has been told it will see Scottish Government funding withdrawn next year. 

The groups aim to tackle social isolation and improve their members’ mental health, but ministers have said the Scottish Government will not provide further funding for the initiative. 

The government has provided £570,000 towards the initiative since it was launched in 2014, and agreed £75,000 funding this year.

The SMSA has been told there will be no cash for 2023/24 – prompting them to launch a petition calling for a rethink, which has already gathered nearly a thousand signatures. 

It states: “In a post-pandemic world, when reducing social isolation and loneliness and reconnecting with our communities once again is paramount, the Scottish Men’s Sheds Association (SMSA) is making a call for action for the government to continue to financially support the national hub of the Scottish Men’s Sheds Movement and men’s health and wellbeing.”

The charity has revealed its shock at learning about the funding cut, with SMSA chief executive Jason Schroeder saying the charity has developed a close relationship with ministers over the years.

“We were all gobsmacked at the decision,” Mr Schroeder told The Press and Journal.

“We got the letter but it just doesn’t make sense.

“I felt like I had been sucker punched. We had been working with the government for all these years. The men are all volunteers.

“The impact on our families is devastating.”

The charity is campaigning for the Scottish Government to change its mind before the budget is announced on December 15, calling for longer-term funding models to be put in place. 

Research by Glasgow Caledonian University found Men’s Sheds provide “meaningful activity” that can have positive impacts on its member’s health.

The charity believes they “save millions” from the health care budget in the long term. 

A Scottish Government spokeswoman told the newspaper: “The Scottish Government funding for Men’s Sheds has helped the movement to grow from five men’s sheds in 2013 to over 200 sheds today with over 3,000 members.

“The £75,000 provided by Scottish Government this financial year, will help the Scottish Men’s Sheds Association build further success as they continue to develop their business model and new funding partners come on board.”



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about 1 year ago

Charities must never rely on government funding. They must all have fund raising departments and live within their means. This is sadly looking like this. Funding charities solely or mostly centrally leads to an exposed third sector. Must not do this. Must be self sufficient. Must have skills to raise funds, and you’ll laugh, in equal measure to provision and goals. Crazy. But money makes it happen. Good will alone always falls flat as moods and fashions change.

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Dominic Notarangelo
about 1 year ago

Wel, said Dave. Unless there is considerable changed there will, be mergers and failures.

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David Watt
about 1 year ago

Fantastic guys I have met! A great laugh and chit chat! Scottish Government are shortsighted with this decision!!

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Steven Stewart
about 1 year ago

Prevention and early intervention is far more effective than treatment of those who are socially isolated, have loss of self esteem and feel undervalued by government and society. The Scottish Mens Shed has proven to be a valuable method of supporting individuals who can still make a valuable contribution to their communities and society. I would urge the Scottish government to reconsider.

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Jean Edgar
about 1 year ago

The money saved is disproportionately less to the value added to community health and well being for a sector who are known to be more at risk especially in older age from social isolation . Established groups and routines will be completely disrupted or lost and may not recover. We waste money on so many other things ... a vote loser I would say but then the SNP focus their attention on 16 year old more .

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Zachariah Aufderhar
about 1 year ago

Wonderful men I have met! A nice chuckle and chatter! With this choice, the Scottish government has shown poor vision! monkey mart

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