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The North Uist Men’s Shed is going ahead as planned, it was announced last night (Thursday, April 11).

The Men’s Shed will operate temporarily under the umbrella of Ahmore Community Group until a formal committee is formed as per the Scottish Men’s Shed Association regulations.

Announcing the next step in forming the North Uist Men’s Shed, the group said: “Our aim is to provide the opportunity for local men to meet up regularly and undertake creative and recreational activities while pursuing a wide variety of practical interests. 

“It will also allow individuals to share their knowledge and expertise with the wider community. The North Uist Men’s Shed will provide a venue for shared activities, regular social interactions to improve physical well-being and reduce loneliness and social isolation, or for men just to pop in and have a cuppa and a blether.”

In the long term, the group plans to expand to include and offer events for everyone in the community.

The duo that floated the idea last month revealed that they had been quietly pursuing it for the past 18 months. Since going public with the idea, they have been “delighted at the volume of interest.”

The Men’s Shed concept is a grassroots movement to improve men’s well-being and rejuvenate communities. In essence, a Men’s Shed is a permanent space for men to connect, share skills, and contribute to their community, thereby enhancing their well-being and that of their community.

The movement in Scotland has grown rapidly, with more than 130 sheds and 54 more being planned. Volunteers run them and aim to tackle loneliness and isolation, particularly among older people.

A Men’s Shed offers a communal workshop for men to carry out practical, hands-on projects together. Their impact is said to be significant in increasing health, happiness and connectivity. The Scottish Men’s Sheds Association now receives government financing. Glasgow Caledonian University researchers are probing the “shed effect” on participants. 

Image credit: Clem Onojeghuo