A north-east men’s shed has been voted the best in Scotland.
Westhill and District Men’s Shed (WDMS) has been named Scottish Men’s Shed of the Year – fending off competition from neighbours in Stonehaven and Aboyne.
The shed on Hay’s Way was one of five groups shortlisted by the Scottish Men’s Shed Association (SMSA) in recognition of their contribution and impact on the local community.
The accolade is the second of its kind for the Westhill-based group after it received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service this year, with special recognition for their work during the pandemic.
The group found out they had secured the most public votes – landing 667 – during their annual meeting on Thursday, which was held to coincide with the Scottish Men’s Shed of the Year awards.
Meanwhile, Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed came a close second with 450 votes. Aboyne came in fourth place, just missing out to Dunoon who were third.
Westhill Men’s Shed will be presented with the esteemed Targe trophy on Friday, November 19 to mark International Men’s Day.
Delight at group’s growing success
Chairman David Thomson, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this prestigious title that recognises the achievements, over the last eight years, from our extremely active and committed board of trustees and members.
“We have grown significantly over the years and now welcome over 300 members through our doors—averaging nearly 100 member visits per week.”
The Westhill-based group was the first of its kind to be created in Scotland, opening their doors to members for the fist time in 2013.
The shed offers an impressive selection of facilities to local men aged 18 and over, such as a fully-equipped workshop and social, meeting and administration areas.
The group also holds talks on an array of topics, from mental health to local history and works to raise awareness of its work in the community.
Jason Schroeder, SMSA executive officer, said: “We are delighted that the first-ever men’s shed in Scotland has claimed the Scottish Men’s Shed of the Year 2021 title. This year’s entries were of an incredibly high standard and were blind-judged by our board of trustees before letting the public decide on their winner.
“The pandemic and temporary shed closures have certainly not put a stop to these men and they have demonstrated extreme resilience.”