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- the group behind hundreds of local groups across Scotland, has been told it will see Scottish Government funding withdrawn next year.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.”