The Lithgow Men’s Shed is adding IT to its toolbox, thanks to a $1440 federal government grant under the National Shed Development Programme.
The local Men’s Shed in Lithgow has used the grant to purchase computer equipment to help members build up their computer confidence, and nail basic online skills.
The grant enabled the branch to buy two Dell monitors, and to replenish stores of safety glasses and earmuffs.
Federal Member of Calare, and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel, Andrew Gee, said the funding will help members of the local shed to learn valuable tech skills in a stress-free environment.
“For more than 15 years, the Lithgow Men’s Shed has provided a place for locals to have a chinwag over a cup of tea, chip away at a project, and challenge themselves to create or learn something new,” said Minister Gee.
“More than 40 blokes belong to the Lithgow Men’s Shed, part of a growing community of old and new mates who catch up to share knowledge, equipment, a cuppa, and a story or two.
“The Lithgow Men’s Shed is an invaluable part of the local community, helping members forge friendships, and finish bits and bobs for groups across the city.
“Now, members will be able to branch out from behind workbenches, and jump online, with the Shed home to two new computer monitors.
“The COVID-19 pandemic showed us all how important it is to stay in touch with our families, friends, and colleagues. With the Lithgow Men’s Shed forced to close its doors for long stretches over the past year and a half, members are being encouraged to learn how to stay connected by jumping online.
“The funding builds on a $6,000 federal government grant delivered last year to replace the original toilets, install new fluorescent lighting and purchase a Hammer planer-thicknesser.
The National Shed Development Programme provides more than 1,000 men’s sheds across the nation with the opportunity to apply for funding through a competitive grants process.
Grants support the purchase of tools, equipment, community projects training, building maintenance and development and health improvement activities.
The Australian Government has committed to ongoing support of Men’s Sheds as part of the National Men’s Health Strategy 2020-2030.
The Australian Government has provided $6.4 million in grant funding to Men’s Sheds across the country since 2013.