Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Government U-turn restores Scottish Men's Sheds funding

Back in December, The Scottish Men's Sheds Association (SMSA) asked its members and the public to support its petition which was sent to the First Minister for Scotland and Deputy First Minister for Scotland calling on the Scottish Government to reverse their decision to stop core funding of the national association. And the good news is that they seemed to have listened. 

As reported in the Daily Record, the Government has announced that the £75,000 funding, which was to have been cut in April, will now go ahead as in previous years and continue for 2023/24, as well as funds available via the new Social Isolation and Loneliness Fund (SIAL).

In addition, the SMSA has received a funding boost from the National Lottery Community Fund’s Awards for All Scotland programme to upgrade vital resources for its growing membership.

The association plans to implement a new Customer Relations Management database interlinked with an upgraded website to maintain records securely online for its 3,200+ membership and 202 Men’s Sheds across Scotland. It will also increase the level of information held to enable improved recording and monitoring to feed into the charity’s long-term development plans and support delivery.

SMSA Chief Executive Officer Jason Schroeder said: “An Awards for All grant back in 2016 paid to launch our original website, when the Movement was in its early stages, and the resource has certainly been well utilised supplying Scottish Shedders with the resources required to set up and sustain Men’s Sheds across the nation. As the Movement grew substantially to what it is today, it became apparent that we require to record the increase and variety of support requests being received, speed up our processes, improve navigation so members can find what they are looking for more quickly and store wider key information on the sector to report back to our stakeholders – members, board, funders, partners and supporters.

“On average, we are receiving a staggering 40 new individual members each month to this Movement which is remarkable however, the current manual administrative processes are profoundly impacting on the time of the SMSA team.  We plan to simplify our systems for joining the Association but also for our popular ‘Find a Shed’ map which receives thousands of hits each month and make things much easier to find in our online ‘one-stop shop’ members’ portal.

“Through this second award from the National Lottery Community Fund Scotland, we will be able to easier maintain data on the Movement safely and securely and be able to evidence and report on its immense success and impact more efficiently – freeing the team up to support the nation’s Shed volunteers.”


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