Aussie shed project could find a home in the Borders

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A project launched in Australia more than a decade ago to provide opportunities for men to socialise together could soon be started here.

The Men’s Sheds inititive began in Australia some 12 years ago from the idea that many men, particularly in their later years, liked to spend time together, tinkering, doing repairs and solving problems.

The sheds are typically communal workshops with benches and tools, where members can drop in on a casual basis to pursue hobbies and interests and work together on joint projects.

As well as the social benefits, Men’s Sheds can be good for your health – some run cooking classes and informal health sessions, as well as trips and games clubs.

The first Men’s Sheds in Scotland are now up and running in Aberdeenshire and East Lothian.

And this week, a public meeting took place in Galashiels to gauge levels of public interest in setting up the first Men’s Sheds in the Borders.

Organisers included Volunteer Centre Borders, NHS Borders Healthy Living Network, Age Scotland and Scottish Borders Elder Voice.

The group will be organising further Men’s Shed meetings around the Borders in the New Year.

Nigel Sargent, of the Volunteer Centre Borders, told us: “There’s a lack of opportunities for men, particularly the more elderly, to socialise with each other.

“The meeting this week went well, with about a dozen there, and more meetings are already being planned.”