Activities in store at Forfar Men’s Shed

A local organisation set up to help improve men’s health and well-being is on the lookout for new members to swell its ranks and help with its activities.

Now approaching the end of its first year, Forfar and District Men’s Shed has already attracted between 15 and 20 regular members and undertaken several projects of its own as well as provided support for others.

The group met initially in the Montrose Road Centre in the town and then at Reswallie Hall before moving finally to premises in the basement of The Pitstop on Academy Street.

It meets three times per week and provides men of all ages with an outlet for their practical skills within a relaxed social group.

Dave Lackie, chairman, said: “We started off with five people, all of whom had the same idea at the same time and we got together, but we’re hoping to grow quite dramatically.

“I think there’s a need for us but at the moment a lot of people don’t know about us.”

The Men’s Shed movement originated in Australia in the mid-1990s, to encourage men of all ages to socialise and discuss their well-being with others. It was suggested during a national health conference that they could help promote social interaction and reduce depression-related illness in men.

Local group member Ian Dickson said that while the group’s activities are focused mainly on woodworking it does undertake other projects.

He continued: “At the moment we’re making bird boxes to sell at a car boot sale in September and we make bug houses and planters too, which are sold for funds, and future projects include making a cart for the Brechin cartie race.

“We’ve also take on community projects too, including helping Forfar in Flower and building a fence for The Pitstop’s community garden.

“It’s just a good craic, and groups like ours are actually recommended by the NHS as you get to see people every day and it gives you someone else to talk to.”

The group’s annual general meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 18, at 10am in The Pitstop and new members will be made welcome.