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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.

Scottish Men’s Shed Association faces winding up amid funding crisis

 

The Scottish Government have cut ties with the group.

The Scottish Men’s Shed Association (SMSA) has warned it faces being wound up amid financial turmoil after all of its funding was pulled by the Scottish Government. 

The Sunday Post reports that Scotland’s largest men’s mental health charity could be shut down within months after ministers cut ties with the organisation, which supports 10,000 members across more than 200 independent sheds.

The shared spaces see people from all walks of life can gather to learn new skills, pass on their experience and benefit from companionship.

In April 2022 the government scrapped funding, before a last-minute £75,000 deal was agreed last year, with no funding agreed since, with concerns the SMSA will not see the end of the year. The charity’s chief executive, Jason Schroeder, told the Sunday Post: “We’ve got enough funding for about nine or 10 months and then we’ll be looking at winding up.

“That will mean the more than 200 groups lose all their support and all the new groups that are starting will have no support.

“We’ll be celebrating our 10th anniversary in October – hopefully we’ll be celebrating rather than closing.

“The truth is that the impact of us closing would be felt throughout the sector and in communities across Scotland.”

Mr Schroeder also hit out at the level of funding from government, with government’s abroad providing millions in funding to the Men’s Shed movement. 

A petition of more than 4,000 signatures has now called for the Scottish Government to reverse its decision. 

Schroeder says it is “just not acceptable” a country with the highest rate of male suicide in the UK is washing its hands of a leading force in preventative action.

He added: “This is working – and not a lot of things are – and now all of that could be lost.

“I cannot understand why they would just say ‘no’ – and not even give us a reason for it.

“In parliament, they are all for it but when it comes to financial support for men’s health in this way, it’s just a no.

“I see what is happening and the millions that are going to other organisations that don’t have a preventative impact and I can only hope they just don’t understand it.

“The interest in women and minority groups is immense but I don’t think men’s mental health is being taken seriously at all.”

The Scottish Government told the Sunday Post it has been supportive of Men’s Sheds since their inception, supporting the movement to grow from five sheds to 200 through £795,000 in direct funding.

They told the newspaper: “Men’s Sheds continue to benefit from the many funding streams that Scottish Government provides to support third sector organisations, including the Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund for Adults, which has supported a number of Men’s Sheds across Scotland since 2021.

“In delivering our social isolation and loneliness strategy, A Connected Scotland, the Scottish Government will continue to engage with third sector organisations, including Men’s Sheds, to explore opportunities for people to connect.”

 

Comments

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ROB MCINTOSH
1 day ago

Why publish an out of date article? Surely it is not that difficult to update that funding has been confirmed for this year some 5-6 days ago?