Garnock Valley Men's Shed to receive £20,000 funding boost
Posted on 14 Sep 2021
A local community group for men dedicated to providing a space to meet new people and alleviate loneliness has received a £20,000 funding boost.
Awarded via the Council’s Community Investment Fund (CIF), the funding for Garnock Valley Men’s Shed (GVMS) was agreed after the proposal was presented to the Council Cabinet by the Garnock Valley Locality Partnership following consultation with local people.
The Garnock Valley Shedders were also recently successful in securing a long-term lease of a former NAC Cleansing and Grounds Maintenance Depot.
Given the go-ahead at the end of last year, the community asset transfer has seen GVMS take over a 25-year lease of the depot in Kilbirnie Public Park.
Members of the Scottish Men’s Shed Association, Garnock Valley Men’s Shed received NAC funding in 2018 for initial renovations of the previously derelict building.
Although significant renovation works have already been completed, the CIF funding boost will allow the group to invest in a much-needed heating system.
Henry Johnson, Chairperson of Garnock Valley Men’s Shed commented, “We are delighted at the news of securing £20,000 from the Community Investment Fund.
“With the colder weather drawing closer, the funding couldn’t have come at a better time as we are currently dependent on portable heaters with expensive running costs.
“We are excited to invest in an intuitive infrared heating system that will allow us to heat rooms only as and when required, so hopefully this will cut down on costs and allow us to become more energy efficient.”
The building has recently undergone extensive roof repairs and the Shedders have worked tirelessly over the last three years to transform the Ladysmith Road building into a vital community asset.
Henry continued, “With the help of the Council and the support of a range of external funders, we have been able to transform the once derelict building into one that no longer has a roof that leaks like a sieve, has running water, double glazing and features a brand new kitchen and reception area that we have built from scratch.
“We have also created a bespoke scale modelling facility for members. All of this could not have taken place without the skills, knowledge and experience of our fantastic team of Shedders who have continually gone above and beyond to make the Shed what it is today.
“They really are a shining example of men who know their stuff and who help other men to build their confidence, enhance their skills, improve their mental health and become more socially connected.”
And even with the challenges of the pandemic and associated lockdowns, the Men’s Shed volunteers have still been making a positive impact, keeping in contact with members by running online model classes and delivering model kits to shielding men to do at home as well as building benches for the local football club and allotments.
Councillor Louise McPhater “Men’s Sheds are a crucial pillar of our community which support the Council’s priority to build active and strong communities while ensuring our people enjoy good life-long health and wellbeing.
“We are immensely proud to be able to support the vital efforts and community hub of the Shedders here in the Garnock Valley via the Community Investment Fund.
“By helping the group to invest in a new heating system, Garnock Valley Men’s Shed will be able to encourage more men to come together and participate in meaningful activities in a warm and inviting environment.”
The installation of the zoned heating system will allow the Shedders to heat rooms only when required and not any more than necessary, helping to support the Council’s Climate Change priority to reduce fossil fuel usage and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.
Once upgraded, the Ladysmith Road depot will be relaunched as a fully operational men’s mental health and wellbeing facility which will have a significant impact on raising male life expectancy, improving quality of life and connecting men with services and facilities across the Garnock Valley.
Louise continues, “What the Shedders have achieved already is testament to their combined knowledge, passion and determination. It is fantastic to see the massive difference the volunteers have already made to transform the depot and bring it back into productive use.
“This is a great example of Community Wealth Building in action – our approach to increase community ownership of local land and assets. In return, the Shedders provide opportunities for skills development and volunteering, which may help with future employment.
“After a really challenging year when so many of us have felt isolated and missed social connection, I would urge anyone who is interested in joining or meeting up with the Shedders to get in touch and be part of this empowered community group who are making such a difference to the lives of men in the Garnock Valley and surrounding areas.”
Are you looking to become a Shedder?
The Men’s Shed has been running in the Garnock Valley for three and a half years and has over 50 registered members. It is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am until 4pm. Its modelling club meets on Friday evenings from 6pm until 8pm.
Membership is open to all men aged 18 and over across the Garnock Valley Locality. Opportunities on offer at present are machine and lathe training, scale model building, music groups, woodworking initiatives and bespoke community projects.
To get involved email email@example.com or visit the Shed during its opening hours. You will be made most welcome.