Men’s Sheds celebrated

Tuesday March 26th 2019

Men's Sheds

Ms Grahame and (L-R) Malcolm Bruce, Les Silk and Iain Coates of Peeblesshire and District Men’s Shed at parliament

Christine Grahame, MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, has welcomed local Men’s Shed members from across her constituency and beyond to parliament by hosting a debate to celebrate their work this week.

Men’s Sheds were first established in Australia in 1998, arriving in Scotland in 2013, and are community groups which exist to provide a meeting place for men (and often women as well) to undertake a range of activities and crafts in a friendly, supportive and social environment.

The actual activities of the Shed are down to each local group but they have been widely praised for their positive impact on men’s mental health and wellbeing by helping them build positive ties in their community and, where it might be needed, giving them an opportunity to feel more able to open up about anything bothering them.

Numbers of Sheds in Scotland have grown exponentially in Scotland in recent years with 106 open sheds and 58 in development, hosting over 1,600 members. Scotland has the highest number of Sheds per capita in the UK with the Borders alone hosting 10% of all the men’s sheds in Scotland and 19 per cent of Scotland’s members.

Commenting after the debate Ms Grahame said:

“I’m delighted to bring the fantastic work being done by Men’s Sheds to the attention of parliament. I am generalising, but we know that men are not so good at sharing their worries and concerns with others. Not everyone plays golf or is a member of a club, so the sheds have given men (and some women) a place to gather, make, chat, have a laugh and make plans for the shed, all of which is good for body and soul.

“The process of setting up a shed takes time and effort, but I think that is the making of a Men’s Shed. The fight for facilities and funding pulls the men together from the start. Because there is no predetermined, one-size-fits-all format, it is up to the members what they do, as it should be. Those members have diverse skills, and the retired accountant and the retired joiner are equally useful.

“Galashiels Men’s Shed has made 60 feeders for red squirrels and carried out furniture repairs for the Aberlour Child Care Trust and Peebles not long in starting up already has over 70 members and secured premises in the Ex-servicemen’s Club while Lauder has temporary accommodation in the Leisure centre.

“I hope to see many more appearing in the near future.”

Watch the Men’s Sheds debate at the Scottish Parliament HERE.

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