The establishment of a Men’s Shed in Banchory has taken a major step forward.
Oil company Apache North Sea has donated £20,000 to the group.
The money will go towards converting an open area at the local Legion Scotland branch into a multi-purpose workshop and social area.
Banchory Men’s Shed was formed in August, 2015, and has around 20 members who meet at the Legion every Tuesday morning.
Members have a diverse range of skills, with a silversmith, model railway enthusiasts and a retired computer expert among those willing to put their skills to good use.
Recently, one member donated the contents of his personal workshop so the group will have a plentiful supply of equipment when the workshop opens..
Chairman Paul Evans said: “Men’s Sheds provide contact and companionship for men who may otherwise become socially isolated, especially after leaving the world of work.
“Many men find it hard to make new friends in face-to-face social encounters but can form strong bonds through working shoulder to shoulder in using their skills and energies with like-minded men.
“We have begun work on the first phase of our shed, the conversion of a garage bay, but to bring the shed fully into being we need to convert the open area to provide a thriving, diverse workshop and social area.
“Apache North Sea’s generous contribution puts us well on the way to reaching our fund-raising target of £55,000 to achieve the Phase 2 project.”
Karen Williamson, Apache North Sea’s human resources manager, said: “Apache has a strong focus on the health and wellbeing of its people and is delighted to be able to contribute to the local community in supporting the expansion of the Banchory Men’s Shed. “This in turn will help to prevent isolation, improve wellbeing and bring people in the community together to a welcoming space, to share skills and most importantly, have fun”.
The Men’s Sheds concept started in Australia and has become a global movement.
Scotland’s first is in Westhill and it has gone from strength to strength.
It has a well-equipped wood and metal working workshop for members’ projects shed work and other undertakings as requested by local residents, schools, and charities.
To cover some of its running costs, members refurbish unwanted tools and equipment to sell to local residents.