After more than two years in the making, Lauder Community Shed is up and running and hoping to build up its membership.
The group moved into a former meeting room at Leader Leisure Centre last week and is wasting no time in encouraging people through its doors.
Shed chairman John McPherson said: “At the moment, we have about 12 people really interested, and now that our shed is open, we look forward to welcoming more people along.
“We are looking for both men and women to join.
“Folk have been really supportive of the idea, and we’ve already received a lot of donations of tools, time and money, so we are ready to get going with projects including benches for the community and planters for the leisure centre.
“Bird-boxes are an amazingly common request too and we’ll even be making some owl-boxes. We’ve a lathe and workbenches been donated too, so that’s a big help.”
The group, a registered charity, raised £8,000 in grant funding and donations to establish itself and will soon start selling its wares from within the Old Causeway building to help with running costs.
“I can’t stress enough how very much this new group is needed,” John added. “We have helped quite a few people already. The whole aim of the shed is to stop depression, tackle social isolation and get people out of the house and involved.
“That has already been achieved a little, but we are still looking to do more.
“Anyone with a skill can come along and share it, and anyone without can come along to learn or even just enjoy a cuppa and chat.”
And the plans don’t stop there.
“It’s a blank canvas right now, which is absolutely amazing,” former electrician John added. “We may go on to offer photography classes and whatever else comes along.
“The community benefits are endless.”
Watching GP Paul Cormie officially open their new home last Friday marked a major milestone for the group, which first began working towards opening a shed in May 2017.
It had to abandon its original plan to house the shed in a portable cabin due to costs but says it will keep looking for a more permanent home.
The shed is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12.30pm to 5pm, and membership costs £3 per month. For more information, contact John on 07703 305257.
Galashiels Men’s Shed has now started selling its products from within Whynot? in the town’s Channel Street.
The former M&Co shop is now a space used by independent craftspeople, small businesses and community groups.
And last week Selkirk Community Shed took over the former post office’s windows in High Street to advertise its products and activities and generally clean up the shop front until it is sold.
Both of those sheds are open to new members too.
“It is great that we can now start to get an income and hopefully encourage others to come along to the men’s shed.
“We really appreciate the support from Jenny Potter and look forward to continuing the partnership.”
Jenny added: “We are delighted to be working with the men’s shed. They are a really positive bunch of guys that are very talented and we wish them every success as we continue to work with them in the future.”
Galashiels councillor Euan Jardine attended the official opening of the retail space last week.
He said: “It was great to see a new store open in Galashiels but most importantly, a store that is giving opportunity to a charity like the men’s shed.
“I was impressed at how quickly the owners got in touch. It really shows that they care about the community they now have a part in.”