Aberchirder and District Men’s Shed has scooped the award and title of the very first ‘Scottish Men’s Shed of the Year’.
The group won a £500 cash prize at the Scottish Men’s Sheds Association (SMSA) annual meeting this week.
The event celebrated the work carried out by the organisation, which launched in 2016 to encourage people to take up new hobbies and help out the community.
After an extensive construction process to build their Shed, in May 2019 the Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire Clare Russell officially opened the premises at a ceremony attended by more than 350 people.
A letter from Buckingham Palace, an invitation to the Royal Garden Party at Holyrood Palace and a meeting with Prince Edward all followed for the group – who have been working with local schools, charities, businesses and residents.
Mike O’Brien, chairman of the Aberchirder and District Men’s Shed, said: “We are so proud to win this prestigious trophy in its inaugural year.
“We look forward to displaying the targe at the shed and wish to formally thank the Shed’s original ‘Magnificent Seven’ for all the work they have done and, in particular, the founding chairman Kenny Christie, whose shoes I will have a challenge to fill.”
Meanwhile, Stonehaven celebrated the grand opening of the Aberdeenshire town’s first men’s shed with a special ceremony attended by local councillors, MPs and MSPs.
Since the idea was first proposed in 2016, 25 different locations all throughout the seaside community were considered for the shed.
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Yesterday, the group officially moved into a premises at the Beach Pavillion, which it secured through a community asset transfer and completely refurbished at a cost of £65,000.
Bill Allan, the chairman of the Stonehaven Men’s Shed said: “We initially expect to be open three days a week, for six hours a day.
“Shed supervisors will be in attendance in the workshop at all times to ensure safe working and provide emergency response, if required.
“The social area is separate and will be used for relaxing, having a chat, for games, recreational activities and for craft groups, hobbies and learning new skills for activities like computing, photography and painting.”