The Dover Community Workshop.
Renovations are well under way in the Arts and Crafts area. I have in place a grant application with the Tasmanian Community Fund for new toilets a hand basin and mixer taps for these areas. Further items in this application are 10 office chairs to replace the dangerous plastic ones and a list of craft items and equipment to fill areas lacking in our equipment.
The new timber shed is finished and loaded with our timber stocks. A general tidy up of the hot works area has been done and items noted for this area. Basically an upgrade of shelving is required in this area.
The recent State elections showed the commitment of both general parties to support the Men’s Shed Movement in the State. Funding similar to the previous period has been promised.
Geoff Marsh, the State representative for these funds has advised us personally when he visited last week to start building our wish list early to be prepared in advance for when these funds become available.
Grant applications are becoming very competitive. They are becoming more detailed in their demands and more and more are becoming online applications only. Dezi and I will be attending a “Grant Application Course” at the Geeveston Community Centre on the 14th of March. This is done by the FRRR which is a potential grant fundee. I have submitted two applications to the FRRR over the past 7 years and failed on both occasions. Perhaps completing their course will give us a better chance of being successful with them and other sources of grant funds.
I have also developed a Plans and Projects System where our members can record their ideas and projects. These forms record the who, what, where and when of a project or idea. It keeps it on file and the full committee will review as necessary these items and approve, amend or reject them on merit.
This allows project leaders of given projects a timeline and funding availability for them to plan and proceed.
All ideas and proposed projects will remain on file and be reviewed each time the management committee meets. Some ideas or projects will be rejected by the committee and be dropped from the list. However the proposer of rejected ideas or projects will be advised in advance.
Not all ideas or projects will be successfully funded the first or second time around. If they are seen as beneficial to the workshop, then they can stay active and be reviewed for a minimum of three years, which is in line with the State funding period. Deferred and delayed projects will need to have fresh quotes put in place in anticipation of future funding opportunities by the proposer of the idea or project.
Reviewing ideas and project proposals periodically keeps them fresh in everyone’s mind. They keep members interested in what is happening around them and gives them ownership of their workshop.
Our workshop is there for the members. They must determine the best way forward for the DCW rather than leave it to the few.
As a financial member of the DCW your voice must be heard, so if you have an idea, a course or project you would like to see at the DCW, let me know or record your idea on the forms in the office.
Some suggested ideas are; tools and equipment, furniture, lighting, courses such as First Aid or other, photography, pottery, ceramics, painting, quilting, toy making, boat building, welding and other metalwork etc. All ideas will be considered so get yours recorded. Your idea might be something that others would like to do or try. It might be something that has not been considered by others but would be beneficial to the workshop.
I am pleased to advise that the number of male members is catching up to the ladies. We recorded 23 members in our application to the AMSA at the end of February. Four new members have joined since then.
We still have an identity crisis. We are THE DOVER COMMUNITY WORKSHOP not the Dover Men’s Shed.
We changed our name back in 2011 when we realized that we would have women members as well.
Further we do not have ladies or men’s days. We have different days set aside for different activities where all are welcome to participate as long as they have been thoroughly checked out on equipment they wish to use.
Our equipment is for all to use on a first come basis.
I will be reviewing our constitution over the coming months and suggesting some amendments in keeping with our new status of ownership of our building. These will relate to disposal of assets in the advent of dissolution. In simpler terms what happens to DCW assets and the building if the organization fails. Every member is an owner of these assets. The elected committee can do most things but must be guided by the majority of member wishes.