Almost 90 people have come together to celebrate the benefits and achievements of Men’s Sheds across the region.
This year’s Shedfest Dumfries and Galloway at Moffat Town Hall on Wednesday (13th) promoted the work of the local sheds with members travelling from across the area to attend.
Shed members gave presentations about the positive difference being involved in the movement had brought to their lives.
Men’s Sheds are about social connections and friendship building, sharing skills and knowledge. They typically attract older men, but there is an increasing push for younger members. The Shed helps reduce the impact of loneliness and isolation on a person’s health and wellbeing.
Currently, there are Sheds in Dalbeattie, Glenkens, Lockerbie, the Rhins, Gatehouse of Fleet, Gretna and Springfield, Carsluith, Dumfries, Moffat and Castle Douglas.
The event was opened by Lord Lieutenant of Dumfries Fiona Armstrong, who said that the Sheds were giving many men a sense of purpose.
“Research has shown that loneliness can be as big a threat to health as obesity and smoking and drinking too much, so it can be pretty hard if you are isolated and if you are on your own,” she said.
“These groups are all about friendship, sharing those skills and knowledge, and about laughter also – somewhere you can go and make friends and just have a chat.”
Ken Harvey, of Lockerbie Men’s Shed, said isolation played a big part in members coming along, be it through a change in job, their health, marriage or just from moving into a new area.
This was the case for Mark Burton, of Moffat Men’s Shed, who moved to the town two years ago. He spotted a poster advertising the group and decided to give it a go.
“It seemed like a good idea at the time and it has been a very good idea,” he said.
Fellow Moffat member Vaz Huntley, who has been diagnosed with dementia, said being involved with the group had renewed his confidence.
“All my friends say they have seen a massive difference in me since I started going along and it has been a huge positive in my life,” he said. “I have made lots of new friends and there has been a lot of support.”
Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway Engagement Officer Christine Clarke, who helped organise the Shedfest event, added: “It’s always humbling being in the same room as so many fantastic advocates for Men’s Sheds and hearing the tremendous things they achieve for their members and their community.”
To discover more go to the Scottish Men’s Sheds Association website: scottishmsa.org.uk/
Pictured top: Keith Johnston, Richard Monaghan, Jim Fawcett, Vaz Huntley, Barry Muir, Gordon Burgess, Mark Burton and Owen Paterson, of Moffat Men’s Shed.