14 Mar 2018 Benalla Ensign, Benalla VIC (General News) Northern Victorian communities are encouraged to apply for a State Government grant to build more mens sheds and support the emotional and social health of men. State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said this years Mens Shed Funding Program grant round with $885 000 up for grabs has an emphasis on supporting Aboriginal men and those from country areas. Mens shed groups here in Northern Victoria can apply for grants worth up to $60 000 to build new facilities, and up to $30 000 to upgrade or refurbish existing ones. We have already seen the fantastic work being done in mens sheds in Broadford, Kilmore, Violet Town and Wodonga with more than $220 000 support from the Andrews Labor Government, Ms Symes said. Mens sheds are a wonderful part of the Victorian landscape and were building and upgrading more of them so more Victorians can benefit. This year well also be getting more Aboriginal mens sheds on board as well as those in country areas so the community has better access to this vital service. Mens sheds give men a chance to come together, give back to the community and talk or learn about what matters to them. I fully encourage local groups in Northern Victoria to apply for funding and help build our mens sheds network. Mens sheds are safe and productive spaces for men to work on common projects, form friendships and give back to their community, with almost 1000 sheds across the country and more than 360 in Victoria. About 15 000 people attend a shed in Victoria each day. The Victorian Government provided nearly $900 000 in 2017 to support the construction of 13 new mens sheds and the refurbishment of 10 existing sheds. Each year, the government provides $1 million to support mens sheds in Victoria, which includes $114 000 to the Victorian Mens Shed Association. That has helped create and upgrade 70 sheds since November 2014. Applications close on Friday, June 8. For more information, visit providers.dhhs.vic.gov.au/mens-shed-program Caption Text: Rapt: Members of the Benalla Mens Shed are excited for the new grants available.Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.