Ellon and District Men’s Shed finally has a home - it has secured a 15-year lease of the former council recycling yard on Hospital Road.
The charity, formed in January last year, put together a Community Asset Transfer Request for the site and it has been approved by Formartine Area Committee.
We still have a way to go yet, but this is a great opportunity for us to move forwardCharlie Forrest Ellon Men’s Shed Chairman
The premises will house the workshop and social area complete with toilets and kitchen. A large section of grassed area has also be transferred to the charity to undertake gardening and other outdoor activities.
Men’s Shed chairman Charlie Forrest said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the decision Aberdeenshire Council has made to support our charity. Having this base to operate from will be fantastic as we have the scope to accommodate lots of interests and hobbies.
“We still have a way to go yet, but this is a great opportunity for us to move forward.”
Some matters have still to be completed before the shed opens to the public but members are now in position to tidy up the site and continue fundraising over the summer months.
The need for the shed has arisen from public sector services identifying a lack of opportunities for men to socialise with other like- minded individuals.
Mark Mitchell, the council’s area project officer, said, “Once men hit retirement there is often very little for them to do.
“We are trying to get men out of their homes, become more active and enjoy a better quality of life.”
The shed is open to any male over the age of 16.
As part of the transfer of the building, the charity also secured a £4,000 grant to obtain professional drawings and the relevant permission to get the shed fully operational.
The organisation has also been inundated with offers of support. Local sign writer, Neil Philip has donated signage for the outside of the building and Ellon couple Bill and Gladys Davidson have provided machinery.
Anyone wanting more information should contact the charity’s secretary Bill Kerr at firstname.lastname@example.org or to find out more about the shed visit www.ellonmensshed. blogspot.co.uk