Taskforce calls for Shedspace funding

Date published: 5 October 2020

An Australian-first initiative that gives young adults in Townsville a place to engage in activities that promote mental health and wellbeing should receive ongoing funding, according to the COVID-19 recovery taskforce.

TaskforceNQ has today called for funding for Shedspace at Riverway, an initiative of Northern Australia Primary Health Limited, which adapts the highly successful Men’s Shed model for young males and females.

TaskforceNQ steering committee chairperson and Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said Shedspace was another way to engage with young people who are at risk of disengaging from the community.

“Shedspace provides a safe space for young people to participate in activities which reduce social isolation, increase self-esteem, give a sense of achievement and increase community connection,” Cr Hill said.

“Young people get the opportunity to experience hands-on activities, which may then lead to further education and training opportunities and allows them to engage with industry professionals through mentoring and teaching.

“It also provides a sense of purpose, which is so important to young people.”

Cr Hill said the program is run by a not-for-profit organisation and currently operates through community fundraising.

“Like many communities across the state, Townsville has youth issues that are of serious concern, with the COVID-19 global pandemic only aggravating the issue,” she said.

“The TaskforceNQ steering committee has identified Shedspace as one way to work with young people to address the issue.

“We are calling for ongoing annual funding of $450,000 to ensure the service has the funding security it needs to continue to help young people from across the city as we recover from coronavirus.”