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Improving older men’s health

Men’s Sheds project to be rolled out across Scotland.

A project by Age Scotland to improve the health and wellbeing of older men in Scotland is set to receive a boost of £50,000 to roll out across Scotland.

The funding will provide support and resources to new and existing Men’s Sheds across the country, and was announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights Alex Neil whilst visiting the MacMerry Men’s Shed in East Lothian, which also celebrates its second birthday today.

The Men’s Shed movement follows a blueprint from an Australian project and is a place for men to come together and work on either individual projects or work together on community projects. The men who attend can share skills , learn new ones, share stories and experiences and relax. The project delivers proven benefits in improving health and wellbeing and reducing social isolation which is often experienced by older men.

Cabinet Secretary Alex Neil said:

“The MacMerry Men’s Shed project is a wonderful example of community empowerment in action - where men can come along, meet other like-minded individuals contribute to their local community and take control of a community asset for the community’s benefit.

"They can work on projects together, planning and developing ideas while also getting out of the house and meet new people. What’s most important in this project is the network of relationships and support that the men build with each other so they can feel involved and connected. It can reduce social isolation, give them a sense of purpose and contribute to them living well in later life.

“Older people are an asset to Scotland, and we want them to flourish in our communities and continue to make a contribution. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Age Scotland to help the network of Men’s Sheds develop across Scotland.”

Between 20 and 25 men attend the MacMerry Men’s Shed each Tuesday and Thursday undertaking a diverse range of activities which includes building garden planters for the local community council to brighten up the village hall, creating storage units for tools, creating bug hotels, candle holders and key racks for selling on at local market, and restoring old furniture and sharpening tools.

Although the Sheds project mostly attract older men, men of all ages, women and young people are encouraged to get involved in their local projects.

Age Scotland Chief Executive Brian Sloan said:

“It is really exciting to be part of the growing Men’s Sheds movement, a movement that Age Scotland has been supporting for a number of years. These community ventures are a great way to bring people together to love later life and we want to thank all the Shedders across Scotland and the groups who support them.”

Notes To Editors

The MacMerry Men’s Shed is a partnership project between Volunteer Development East Lothian and East Lothian Council’s Ageing Well project.

The Scottish Government is working with Age Scotland and the Robertson Trust to support a Men’s Sheds Capacity Building Project, the aim of which is to offer community development support to new and existing Sheds across Scotland. The ambition is that up to 20 existing/new Sheds will have access to specialist information and support; that 12-15 Sheds will be able to access Age Scotland’s small grants programme to grow their services; and that up to 200 older men in communities across Scotland will have improved access to activities which reduce isolation and improve health and wellbeing.

Studies have shown that the Sheds greatly boost the health and well-being of those people taking part through encouraging positive and active ageing and combatting social isolation.


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