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For immediate release 09/12/16

ALEX SALMOND OPENS INVERURIE & DISTRICT MEN’S SHED

LOCAL MP FOR GORDON OFFICIALLY OPENS INITIATIVE TO PROMOTE MENTAL HEALTH IN ABERDEENSHIRE

Jason Schroeder, Alex Salmond MP and Archie Peebles

Jason Schroeder, Alex Salmond MP and Archie Peebles

MP for Gordon, Alex Salmond, has today, Friday, 9th December 2016, officially opened the Men’s Shed with the trustees of the Inverurie & District Men’s Shed (IDMS), so that more attention can be brought to this initiative and more local men can begin to enjoy the benefits and get involved in all their fantastic projects.

The IDMS is a community-led project aimed at providing a social space where local men can come together to exchange skills and knowledge, tackling isolation in the elderly community in the process.

The IDMS is situated in a small factory unit on Harlaw Way leased from Aberdeenshire Council. The site includes a woodwork shop, metalwork shop and clean room. There are also two combined porta-cabins to provide a social area, complete with kitchen and toilet facilities, located on the same grounds. 

Unique to any other men's shed in Aberdeenshire, are IDMS’s 70-foot-long polytunnel, which has already been in use for two growing seasons, producing a fantastic array of fruit and vegetables. Almost all the work involved in preparing the polytunnel, workshop and social area has been done by the members themselves, using technical skills attained throughout their working lives. External assistance was kept to a minimum. 

Commenting after the cutting of the ribbon, Mr Salmond said: 

“In Scotland, much of our industrial past lives on through the practical knowledge of elderly men in our towns and cities. Many of them worked on ships, in engineering, or metal work. The shed gives them a place to keep that knowledge burning bright, even if it’s now employed in fixing a broken watch or woodwork.
“Networks of care, such as the Men’s Shed movement, are an important part of our vibrant, diverse and inclusive communities and all play a part in making the world a less lonely place for our elderly and vulnerable neighbours. Isolation can occur for many reasons, which is why places like Men’s Sheds must be supported. 
“They are a place to remind people of the infinite benefits of good company."

Executive Officer of the Scottish Men's Shed Association, Jason Schroeder, added: 

"There are more than 40 open men's sheds throughout Scotland today, with another 30 in development. This project is extremely important to a lot of people and to have the communities of Scotland support it is invaluable to its success."
"The Association are absolutely delighted to receive the first instalment of funding from the Scottish Government to help support the grassroots project across Scotland. The first and only government in the UK to support a national Men's Shed Association in this way.
"Scotland is yet again leading the way in another fantastic initiative."

Chairman of Trustees of Inverurie and District Men's Shed, Archie Peebles, said: 

"It has been fantastic to see the entire community get behind this project. Everyone from the Marks & Spencer's staff to pupils at Meldrum Academy have been raising funds which have enabled up to buy some excellent equipment. 

"It was a pleasure to have Alex Salmond open our men's shed which should go a long way to raising the profile of the Men's Shed initiative throughout Aberdeenshire and beyond."

ENDS

Notes to Editors 

In February 2016, projects aiming to tackle loneliness were boosted by £548k of Scottish Government funding, with a £300k Social Isolation and Loneliness Fund aimed at preventing vulnerable young and older people becoming lonely or isolated, and £248k to be distributed to established projects currently working to curb isolation.

For more information on the IDMS, please visit: http://www.inveruriemensshed.co.uk/