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Elgin and District Men’s Shed in plea for help to find new home

By Lorna Thompson

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ELGIN and District Men’s Shed members are taking a moment to regroup – and hope to attract new recruits while on the lookout for a new base.

The branch is inviting local men aged over 18, both existing and would-be members, to attend a special meeting this month.

The meeting on Thursday, September 30, will be chaired by the executive officer and founder of the Scottish Men’s Sheds Association, Jason Schroeder.

Prior to the lockdowns the Elgin members enjoyed a wide range of social activities and events, including ten-pin bowling, and visits to Moray distilleries and RAF Lossiemouth.

The group previously ran from a workshop on Perimeter Road but made a decision to give that up amid the pandemic to save costs while meeting was out of the question.

Members are now well equipped to get a workshop restarted and are desperately looking for affordable premises.

A spokesperson for the Elgin group said: "It was costing about £600 a month for rent and utility bills at our Elgin workshop.

"We used to run a pop-up shop and stalls to generate some income. But Covid knocked all that on the head and no money was coming in.

"We did get a grant of £10,000 from the Scottish Government, like most charities, to tide us over. But we were throwing away £600 every month.

"We've put all of our equipment into storage in the meantime while we look for new premises."

Elgin and District Men’s Shed members at Elgin Town Hall.
Elgin and District Men’s Shed members at Elgin Town Hall.

He added: "We are now working with the Community Support team at Moray Council, who are being very supportive, so things are looking more positive than they were even a fortnight ago.

"What we need is a place for socialising as well as a workshop for joinery, welding, artwork or for people to do their hobbies."

The Elgin group currently has 68 members.

The spokesperson added: "The main point of the Men's Shed is to get guys out of the house to help combat loneliness and isolation.

"Men’s Sheds are a great place to go and enjoy camaraderie.

"Ideally we'd like to attract some military personnel or ex-military members too.

"There are no costs, there's no alcohol. There are always plenty of tea and biscuits. We get a lot of support from Asda and Tesco with food donations.

"So if you have some time on your hands and are interested in what a Men’s Shed is and how you can get involved, do please come and join us on September 30."

Any business which could offer a suitable premises at a reasonable rate should contact Peter Harris by email at peterr.harris@btinternet.com, phone 07974 973757, or visit the group's Facebook page.

The Elgin and District Men's Shed meeting will take place on September 30, at Bishopmill Hall in Grove Place, at 1.30pm.

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