A COMMUNITY group for men dedicated to providing a space to meet new people and alleviate loneliness has received a £10,000 funding boost.

Awarded to the Scottish Maritime Museum for Irvine Harbourside Men’s Shed via North Ayrshire Council’s Community Investment Fund, the funding was agreed this week after the proposal was presented to the council Cabinet by Irvine's locality partnership.

Launched in September 2018, Irvine Harbourside Men’s Shed has been developed by staff at the Scottish Maritime Museum, with continued support from North Ayrshire Council.

Colin Daye, Secretary at Irvine Harbourside Men’s Shed said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have received funding via the Community Investment Fund.

“For those of us who are retired, the Men’s Shed provides a lively meeting space where we can connect with others in the community and recapture the camaraderie of the workplace. The space is also open to younger members (over age 18), who enjoy coming to our meeting space to socialise and participate in community projects to learn new skills.

“We don’t have their own space at present, but have worked in partnership with the Scottish Maritime Museum to secure a rented space via North Ayrshire Council at Kyle Road in Irvine.

“The funds will help us with partitioning, decoration and electrical works needed to enable us to create our own dedicated meeting and workshop space. The boost will also allow us to purchase specialist pieces of equipment so we can begin working on

larger projects and we’ll also have the resource to create our own items for sale and help local residents with odd jobs like furniture repairs.”

Scottish Maritime Museum Director, David Mann is encouraged by the success of the shedder’s group so far.

He said: “Irvine Harbourside Men’s Shed is now an established organisation in its own right and part of the Scottish Men’s Shed Association (SMSA) and we are absolutely delighted to learn of the recent funding boost which will help the members to further develop their meeting, workshop and socialising space.

“The plan is to use the funds to invest in more resources including tools and workbenches to create an all-inclusive hub where members can gather, relax and socialise while also rolling up their sleeves to learn new skills and keep active with practical community projects.”

Councillor Louise McPhater, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “With the help of the Scottish Maritime Museum, the volunteers at Irvine Harbourside Men’s Shed have created a truly inspirational community group to encourage men to get together and participate in meaningful activities together.

“I would urge anyone interested in getting involved to contact Colin and the team to be part of this great organisation and have the chance to use their skills to inspire others and build our community into something better.

Want to become a ‘shedder’? Contact Colin at harboursidemensshed.irvine@gmail.com