South Scotland MSP, Joan McAlpine, was in Moffat this week to open the town’s Men’s Shed at its new premises in the Holm Estate. The SNP MSP had been invited to cut the ribbon by the group due to her long term support for the project, including working with Cllr Stephen Thompson to help secure a lease with Dumfries and Galloway Council for the business unit.
Cllr Thompson said,
“It’s time for the Council to open up the traditional business units to community enterprises. They are just as capable of being good tenants and can provide a social role for the community as well. The Men’s Shed organisation is well-supported and individual groups are able to draw-down external funding and generate their own incomes from the valuable services they provide.”
“The lease with the Council reflects fair value for both parties. Additionally, on 27th March 2020, as part of D&G Council’s COVID-19 response, we decided to waive business unit rents until 1st October to support local enterprises through this difficult period. Now that Moffat Men’s Shed is being treated with equality as a Council business tenant, it affords some extra time to get established in their new home and get their house in order before the rent falls due.”
The project is one of 131 sheds across Scotland, which now have over 2400 members. Offering hands on workshop spaces to carry out projects in a social environment they have shown such positive benefits that they’ve received financial support from the Scottish Government.
While she was there, the SNP MSP took the opportunity to hand over a cheque for £150. The money was earned from Ipso Mori who carry specialist surveys and donate to a charity of the MSP’s choice.
Commenting, Ms McAlpine said,
“I’m a huge fan of the Men’s Shed movement so I was delighted to be invited to open the new one here in Moffat. These sheds perform an important role in our modern societies, rejuvenating communities, combatting loneliness and social isolation and promoting physical activity. The sense of camaraderie amongst these men is a joy to witness.
“They’ve done a fantastic job getting this space together. Most of the internal construction was carried out by themselves and they’ve installed an impressive range of woodworking equipment, a welding area, loads of storage spaces, a new kitchen, and a space to socialise when it is safe to do so. They even have plans to run workshops for others to come along and learn new skills and while Covid is still with us they plan online tutorials. This is a wonderful resource for Moffat and is a great improvement on their last premises that I visited in the town last year. I wish them all the best with their new venture.”
Chairman of Moffat Men’s Shed, Dick Monaghan, said,
“We can’t thank Joan enough for all the support she’s given us, especially helping secure our new building here in Moffat. She’s been on board with the project right from the start and we’re really pleased she was able to come along today to officially open our new shed and present us with another generous donation.”
Although the official opening took place on Monday, the men of Moffat will have to wait to resume their activities at the shed due to current Covid restrictions.
Copyright free images attached.
• Joan with members, Mike Saint (left) and Barry Muir (right)
• Joan handing over the cheque for £150 to Moffat Men’s Shed Chairman Dick Monaghan
• Joan cutting the yellow ribbon, watched by Mike Saint (left), Barry Muir (centre) and Dick Monaghan (right)