Westhill Men’s Shed sets gold standard

GOLD: Westhill Men's shed
GOLD: Westhill Men's shed

Westhill Men’s Shed has won the Achieving Better Outcomes Gold Award at the Cosla Excellence Awards held in St Andrews.

The award is given to projects and organisations that demonstrated creative approaches to partnership working and integration in their local area.

The men’s shed has attracted over 3000 visitors since it opened in February last year.

There are now plans to open more across Aberdeenshire.

Some of the projects that have been taken on by people at the shed include the restoration of a stand-alone engine and water pump, a ‘friendship bench’ being constructed for a local primary school and a set of raised flowerbeds for a retired local gardener.

Men coming to the shed do not require any formal training or expertise.

The men who use the shed have also carried out a variety of personal projects, from boating chairs to camping boxes.

Chair of social work and housing committee, Councillor Karen Clark, said: “The men’s shed is the type of community project we are keen to promote.

‘‘It allows retired people to use the skills they have gained to help others and it enables people to remain active in to later life.

“Aberdeenshire Change Fund has agreed to fund a post that will aim to build on the achievements of Westhill Men’s Shed.

‘‘It will also help other communities to establish a similar project near them.

‘‘Plans are currently in place for sheds in six communities across Aberdeenshire with hopefully more to come.”

Members of the Westhill Men’s Shed Board have been travelling to otherparts of Scotland to help people set up sheds in their area.

With the help of Age Scotland there are now more than 30 sheds planned throughout Scotland.

Chairman of Westhill andDistrict Men’s Shed, Marty Kehoe, said: “The men’s shed has been well received in Westhill.

‘‘It has offered many opportunities for local men to get together, work on projects, share ideas and have a satisfying and enjoyable time.

“Although our shed is the first in Scotland, visits from staff from voluntary agencies around the country have been impressed with our set up.”