The future looks brighter for the Jerilderie Men’s Shed after council approved the request of a loan.
In May the group was successful in an application for $50,000 Stronger Communities funding, to support the purchase of a property suitable for operational, retail and meeting needs.
The Men’s Shed investigated a number of options and has settled on an ideal property in Jerilderie St that is fit-for-purpose, offering ample shedding, space for carpentry, welding and recycling activities, and an area for main street retail.
To assist the relocation and expansion of activities, council has agreed to an interest free loan of $12,000 to be repaid over a period of five years.
Murrumbidgee Council general manager Craig Moffitt said the assistance would ensure the continuation of a worthwhile group that benefits the whole community.
‘‘This has economic and social benefits far and beyond the immediate user group,’’ he said.
‘‘The Men’s Shed national movement is a powerful tool addressing health and wellbeing, helping men to remain valued, productive community members.’’
It was the group’s sound financial record and operational capabilities that indicated to council they could meet financial obligations associated with the loan.
‘‘The Jerilderie Men’s Shed is a well-performing locally based social enterprise with a solid financial record founded on accrued savings, and volunteer-led activities,’’ Mr Moffitt said.
As part of the agreement, the property will be transferred to council for the benefit of the Jerilderie community in the unlikely event of the Jerilderie Men’s Shed Inc winding up.
According to Men’s Shed president Bill Ferris that possibility is ‘‘highly unlikely’’.
He said volunteer hours and numbers have risen over the past weeks.
‘‘Since the investment by council we have had more energy and more volunteers coming into help with the move,’’ he said.
‘‘Thanks to the support of council and the community the future for Jerilderie Men’s Shed looks bigger and brighter than ever.’’