HELENSBURGH and District Men’s Shed chairman Brian Mackay has not given up on the idea of introducing the initiative in the town, despite ongoing difficulties in finding a permanent place of residence.

The Helensburgh group did not mark Scottish Men’s Shed Week - an international collaboration to raise awareness between the Scottish and Australian associations, which took place last week – as they are currently without a home.

Several attempts to find a place to set up the shed have fallen through, however, Brian remains hopeful that a suitable location can be found soon after four years of working on a solution.

If and when this happens, the board is confident that the organisation will have endless benefits for its members and the local community.

Brian said: “It has been frustrating not finding a home for us yet, but we are still looking.

“We have over 60 people champing at the bit to participate and we are very active, but unfortunately we have to disappoint them as we are still without a facility.

“They would all benefit from the services that we could provide.

“In Helensburgh alone, there are more than 3,800 men over the age of 55 and we are sure we would attract more than 20 per cent of them, which would be fantastic.

“There are so many skills that can be shared, but obviously we can’t do that without somewhere for them to work.”

Men’s sheds offer a place for members to be together with a group of like-minded friends and men from all walks of life form very strong bonds within the shed, many of whom would not have crossed paths if not for their participation in the community.

There are now estimated to be over 150 shed groups across Scotland and membership is not limited to just males, as the shed is open to anyone over 18.

SMSA executive officer Jason Schroeder said: “Social isolation is a key contributing factor to poor health and wellbeing particularly in men whether they are unemployed, retired or have extra time on their hands.

“Men’s Sheds provide a place for men to connect and find purpose in a relaxed and interesting environment.”

Brian says it is absolutely vital that such groups exist, adding: “It’s a place for them to work, but also somewhere where they can talk over a cup of tea.

“Often, the kettle becomes more important than the tools on the bench.”

Visit www.helensburghmensshed.org.uk for more information.