TWO men's sheds in the region received a handy little windfall for their respective organisations this week.
The Australian Government is continuing to assist men's health and wellbeing through grants under the 20th funding round of the National Shed Development Program.
And, on Thursday, July 30, the Upper Hunter Men's Shed Scone picked up $7155 for improvements to its Oxford Road premises while Merriwa Men's Shed secured a further $1300 for a new water urn and electrical installations.
New England MP Barnaby Joyce was thrilled to deliver the good news to the local members.
"Now more than ever, these sheds offer men a critical avenue for social support and engagement, especially in drought-affected areas like the Upper Hunter," he said.
"To stay healthy, we need to do regular activities with the people around us, and our men's sheds have become focal points in our towns and villages across the region.
"All of them do an incredible job.
"I congratulate the Scone and Merriwa men's sheds on their grants.
"As well, I know the projects will leave a lasting legacy on the health and wellbeing of its members in their respective communities.
"I truly hope we can do more to help in the future."
Upper Hunter Men's Shed Scone president Greg Newling welcomed the announcement.
"It's great for us," he said.
"I believe a lot of groups put in for the grants, so we were lucky.
"For that, we're extremely grateful.
"The money will go towards building a separate shed to store our equipment, tools and other items."
Recent men's sheds grants in the Upper Hunter included Murrurundi, which was recently awarded $7000 for improvements, including a new concrete slab, and a further $3500 for test and tag training, and additional gear.
More than 6000 men across Australia are expected to benefit from the program.