A bid to tackle social exclusion and loneliness in Lauder is being backed by community leaders.
Scottish Borders Council has received a planning application from Lauderdale Community Council to set up a men’s shed in a portable cabin at Lauder Leisure Centre’s car park in Factors Park.
The community facility would be open to both men and women over the age of 55 to take part in woodworking and other skills and to enjoy some companionship.
The bid has the support of the Reverend Rae Clark, minister at Channelkirk and Lauder Parish Church, and she said: “As a parish minister, I frequently engage with a range of individuals who would benefit from such a resource being available locally, and I have no hesitation in referring them to the Lauderdale Community Shed.”
Paul Cormie, a doctor at Stow and Lauder Health Centre, added: “We know that social isolation and loneliness has a negative impact on people’s health, and men can often find it find it more difficult than women to make new friends and contacts after bereavement, retirement or ill health.
“A men’s shed in Lauder would significantly contribute to reducing loneliness and isolation for these men, who are often older, and therefore reduce the impact of this on their mental and physical health.”
The planning application also has the support of council convener and Leaderdale and Melrose councillor David Parker.
He said: “The group are working well with other voluntary groups in the community, and the project will certainly give Lauder a fantastic community resource if it can come to fruition.
“Community sheds are now making a valuable contribution to many communities, and, as well as promoting crafting and other activities, they are a vital resource to improve wellbeing and skills and reduce loneliness.”