On 17th February the sun was out for the launch of the new Men’s Shed in Helmsdale. Dr Paul Monaghan, our local MP, was on hand to cut the ribbon as men in attendance wielded a range of new and donated tools.
The Shed, constructed between September last year and February, is located next to Helmsdale Community Centre on disused piece of land leased from Helmsdale and District Community Association. The idea for a Men’s Shed in the village came from Helmsdale-based Creative Communities and was made possible with a grant from SSE’s Gordonbush community benefit fund.
The event was opened by Creative Communities’ Steve Henderson who explained the social and emotional benefits that Men’s Sheds have proven to bring to men since the concept was originally introduced in Australia. A cheque for £1,000 was presented to Bunillidh Rowing Club, who built the shed, and thanks were also given to those who donated the windows, tools by Dementia Friendly Communities and Helmsdale District Development Trust, along with a number of local organisations and personnel who contributed by providing discount on purchased items and significant contributions in time to expedite the build. The Men’s Shed sign at the entrance to the Shed was hand-crafted by Alan Bithell, a Golspie resident, who was made aware of the Helmsdale Men’s Shed through Veteran’s First Point visits to Helmsdale.
The event was attended by over 20 people including local residents and representatives from SSE, Evanton Wood Community Company, Veterans First Point Highland and Woodland Trust Scotland. Attendees were treated to pies, sausage rolls, chips and beans as well as freshly baked cakes and a specially prepared Men’s Shed cake given by Margaret Finlayson.
The Helmsdale Men’s Shed is now one of almost 50 Sheds in Scotland and is a member of the Scottish Men’s Shed Association. If you are interested in finding out more about the Shed then you can drop in between 10am and 3pm, Mon through Fri, or call 01431 821655.