A GROUP aimed at supporting male mental health and physical wellbeing, as well as helping men to build on their interests and find new and purposeful ways to spend their spare time, is coming to Cumnock.

Cumnock & District Men’s Shed was formed in January 2021 when a group of local people came together with a common interest – to better support men in and around Cumnock by building on their skills and developing activities that men will engage with.

Although Men’s Sheds usually focus on the older generation, Cumnock’s group offers free membership to all men aged 18 and above.

Fraser Stone, Corra Foundation’s Community Coordinator for Cumnock, explained: “The aim of the shed is to help local men find new and purposeful ways to spend their spare time, share their interests and build upon existing or learn new skills.

"Offering membership to a wider age range also promotes the opportunity for intergenerational working and the transfer of knowledge. For example, an ex-tradesman inspiring a young person to get into a trade.

“We intend to offer a range activity and short-term projects that build on the strengths and interests of local men. Offering a broad flexible program will ensure the Men’s Shed promotes an inclusive environment."

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He added: “Activities in other Sheds vary greatly, but we envisage our central hub offering a mixture of woodworking, metalworking, model-making, repairing, and restoring. We will also work in close partnership with Jim Smith at the Cumnock Heritage Centre to support those with other interests.”

The Shed has recently applied for a Community Asset Transfer (CAT) of the former School Annex at 39 Barrhill Road. If successful, that will be the group’s central hub which will act an accessible place for the group to meet.

Although applying for a CAT is often a lengthy process, the men are hopeful that the building, although in need of refurbishment, will provide an excellent setting for the group.

Fraser continued: “We would like to start engaging the community in the interim to keep the energy up and build on momentum. Although no face-to-face meetings are currently confirmed, will be looking to hold a few pop-up style sessions, in keeping with COVID guidelines, over the next few months, to raise awareness of the group.

“Developing and progressing the idea for a Men’s Shed could not have come at a more important time. Men’s Sheds play a vital role in the community, helping to improve both physical and mental wellbeing of group members and reducing the numbers of those at risk of or suffering from social isolation."

The Scottish Men’s Shed Association has also encouraged sheds around Scotland to get involved in the Royal Deeside Cartie Race, an event they are supporting this year. The race will be held on Saturday, July 17 and Sunday 18 at The Kincardine castle.

Cumnock & District Men’s Shed were the first to sign up but currently have no shed, no team and no design. They are looking for men to join the team and help design and build their winning cart as well as donations of materials and team sponsorship. 

Anyone interested in any of the above, or who want to get involved with the Men's Shed, should email cumnockmensshed@gmail.com