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Boxing clever to help keep Findochty beaches clean

By Alan Beresford

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A FLEDGLING Findochty community group have been boxing clever when it comes to keeping the village's beaches clean.

Findochty Men's shed have created a total of four boxes which will contain equipment, including litter pickers, bags and sanitisers provided by the local community council.

The co-operation between the two groups was lauded by Findochty Community Council chairman Andrew Slater.

He said: "One of the locals saw an item on TV news about something similar out the Ellon way and I thought that would be a really good idea.

"With the Men's Shed in the process of getting up and running I thought it would be a good idea to involve them. My neighbour, Phil Jerome, is involved with the group so I asked him if he could could make the boxes for us, which he's done.

"Phil's made an excellent job of them and we're very grateful to him and the Men's Shed for their help. Also, the community council would like to thank Steve Thornton at Sign Etch in Buckie for doing the signs on the boxes.

"Obviously we're encouraging people using the boxes to sanitise and we'd like to thank Marie Miller, who owns Static Clean Queen, for stepping in and supplying wipes and hand sanitiser.

"We hope that by having these boxes it will encourage people who have enjoyed themselves on one of Findochty's beaches to clean up after themselves. The boxes are near litter bins but if these are full we'd like to ask people to take their rubbish home rather than just leaving it by the bin."

Mr Jerome said that the group were glad to help and were keen to play an active part in the community as they strive to get their own premises to work from.

"We're delighted to have been able to help the community council with this," he continued.

"When Andrew approached me about the boxes I thought it was such a good idea.

"The Men's Shed wants to get out there and support the local community; we're a community-based non-profit organisation which aims to help improve men's mental health.

"It helps them get out and meet their mates.

"The group first got going a couple of years ago with a lot of invaluable help from Jimmy Bremner, who's now the chair. he helped set up a lot of the early meetings.

"There was a lot of interest and at one of the meetings we had 50 people turn up.

"Our biggest aim at the moment is to get our premises set up at the East Beach on a plot of land which Seafield Estate is leasing to us at a peppercorn rent.

"We're looking to put in a couple of portable cabins and a polytunnel for the guys who like to do gardening. We've got planning permission and are just waiting for the building warrant to come through.

"The biggest challenge so far has been funding it. Putting in the likes of electricity and water is going to cost us around £20,000. We have been looking at various sources of funding but as we haven't got a building warrant yet most funders are reluctant to give us any money."

]Mr Jerome went on to prise the depth of talent which exists among the Men's Shed members, who in the main are retired.

He added: "We've got a good bunch of lads who want to help the local comunity.

"Once our buildings are up there's no limit to what these guys can do, there's no limit to their talents."

More information about Findochty Men's Shed is available on their Facebook page.

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