Fund­ing keeps the doors open

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Elisha Pearce

MEN re­ceiv­ing vi­tal as­sis­tance from The Shed at Emerton will breath a sigh of re­lief this week af­ter fund­ing was re­stored for the next 12 months.

The Shed co-or­di­na­tor Rick Welsh was no­ti­fied last Monday that The Shed would have the money it needed to con­tinue on a tem­po­rary ba­sis, just weeks be­fore he was set to be out of a job.

The com­mu­nity project, run from Western Syd­ney Uni­ver­sity, re­ceived a let­ter on Christ­mas Eve say­ing all fund­ing was be­ing cut off and di­rected through lo­cal health net­works.

The Shed was forced to reap­ply for the tender, which was suc­cess­ful.

“It’s def­i­nitely a re­lief,” Mr Welsh said.

Act­ing as a hub be­tween men at risk and the 28 agen­cies it is part­nered with, The Shed helps many men through their home­less­ness, fam­ily law ser­vice and ef­forts to keep lo­cal Abo­rig­i­nal fam­i­lies to­gether.

Chi­fley fed­eral Labor MP Ed Hu­sic said he called the fed­eral Health Min­is­ter to fight for fund­ing when he heard it would be cut off.

“We had to fight ev­ery step of the way to keep the Emerton Men’s Shed open – while to­day’s an­nounce­ment is ter­rific news, the sad re­al­ity is that it only keeps the doors open for 12 months,” Mr Hu­sic said.

Mr Welsh was also frus­trated that fund­ing con­tin­ued to come in 12-month waves, be­cause it did not of­fer the sta­bil­ity needed to hire staff or make long-term com­mit­ments

“When you look at the com­plex­i­ties and trauma ... we have to look at what ser­vices we can pro­vide our­selves,” Mr Welsh said.

Staff worker Don­ald Mul­hol­land and client Or­rey Bax­ter with Rick Welsh at The Shed, Emerton.

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