The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today announced a new fund of €100,000 to support Women’s Sheds.
The initiative, the first of its kind, is in recognition of the fact that there is a growing number of Women’s Sheds across the country.
Unlike Men’s Sheds, Women’s Sheds do not currently operate under a single national representative body.
This makes it more difficult for them to avail of supports such as Government funding.
Minister Humphreys this week met a delegation of women from across the country who are actively involved in running Women and Sister Shed’s in their communities.
At the meeting, she discussed ways in which her Department can assist Women’s Sheds, including with the provision of grant funding.
Today, Minister Humphreys announced that €100,000 will be set aside in her Department’s Budget specifically to support Women’s Sheds.
The grants which will be in the region of €1,000 - €2,000 could be used to assist Women’s Sheds to expand within their communities, to run activities or to help them with their running costs such as insurance or rental costs.
Any Women’s Shed interested in availing of funding should get in touch with the Department of Rural and Community Development via firstname.lastname@example.org .
Announcing the new initiative, Minister Humphreys said:
“This week I had the privilege of meeting a delegation of women from all across the Country who are involved in running Women and Sister Sheds in their local communities.
“Many people will be familiar with the Men’s Sheds who have grown from a small organisation a number of years ago to a point now where there are over 400 Men’s Sheds nationwide and the organisation has a national representative body.
“The Women’s Shed movement is a relatively new phenomenon in comparison. Many of the groups I spoke to this week have only been existence for a year or less.
“I passionately want to support our Women’s Sheds to grow however I’m conscious that without a representative body, it is more difficult for Women’s Sheds to avail of State support.
“And so, for the first time, I’m putting aside a special fund of €100,000 specifically for our Women’s Sheds.
“My message today is clear – if you are part of a Women’s Shed, please get in touch with my Department because I want to support the fantastic work that you do.”
Minister Humphreys added:
“I was really taken with the testimonies from the women I met this week and the hugely positive impact being part of a Women’s Shed is having in their lives.
“These Sheds provide an invaluable service for women of all ages – helping to tackle social isolation and providing a space for people to come together, socialise, and build friendships.
“From small acorns grow mighty oaks - I don’t see any reason why with a little bit of support and guidance we can’t grow the Women’s Shed into a national movement similar to the Men’s Sheds.
“At the moment we don’t actually have concrete data on the total number of Women’s Sheds in the country. This initiative will help us to get a better idea of the spread across the country. I’d really love to be in a position where this fund is over-subscribed and that’s why I am asking all Women’s Sheds to get in touch with my Department so we can support you.”