The Gallaher Trust has announced that it will be providing £45,000 of funding for Harryville Men’s Shed, a registered charity that supports men living in Ballymena, and offers them a safe space to gather for social bonding, activities, healthy lifestyle projects and educational sessions.
The funding from the Trust will be delivered over a three-year period, from April 2023 until March 2025, and will fund a part-time project co-ordinator, who will be responsible for engaging with the local community with a view to increasing membership figures.
This funding will also allow the charity to expand its scope of services within the Ballymena area, which currently includes use of an indoor gym, community garden, and woodwork workshop, as well as the provision of a range of training and educational sessions.
Over the next three years, the project aims to increase membership figures by an impressive 250%, particularly engaging those aged between 18-25 years old, raising the number of men engaged in healthy lifestyle projects from 10 to 30 and growing the number of members engaged in training, educational and awareness sessions from eight to 25.
Trustee of The Gallaher Trust, James Perry MBE, looks forward to the positive impact which the funding will have on the local Ballymena community, commenting: “The Gallaher Trust is very pleased to announce the funding for Harryville Men’s Shed, which has built a reputation for addressing important social issues since its formation in 2012.
“Our trustees understand the growing need to combat social isolation, which can have a damaging effect on the community at large. With this week marking Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK, there is no better time to announce our support for a project which gives its members the tools and techniques they need to improve their physical and mental well-being on their own terms and within their own communities.”
Harryville’s new Project Co-Ordinator, Jim McIlroy, is looking forward to engaging with the local community in his new role, commenting: “The services of the Harryville’s Men Shed is much needed within the community given the myriad of social needs in today’s society. I’m sure that this funding from The Gallaher Trust will help our organisation, enabling us to expand our services and make a tangible and hopefully, long-lasting positive change to the local area.”
Denver McMeekin, Chairman at Harryville Men’s Shed, is assured of the positive impact of the funding from The Gallaher Trust, commenting: “We cannot thank The Gallaher Trust enough. This will have an incredible impact on Harryville Men’s Shed and the Ballymena community and will go a long way in aiding our organisation to become more self-sufficient in the future.
“The work of Harryville Men’s Shed is crucial in today’s society. We understand that men typically find it more difficult to build social connections than women, and as they get older, become reluctant to share concerns about their health and personal wellbeing, which can result in a loss of purpose.
“Harryville’s Men’s Shed is determined to counteract this, offering a safe place where its members can meet, form friendships, take part in a range of practical and artistic projects and regain a lost sense of independence. Thank you to The Gallaher Trust for helping make this possible.”