The Inverclyde Shed is celebrating after being crowned Scottish 'Men's Shed of the Year' 2020 by the Scottish Men's Sheds Association (SMSA).
The local charity saw off stiff competition, receiving 36% of the overall vote to win this years title by 62 nominations from Garnock Valley and Kinross & District Shed's respectively.
The Inverclyde Shed was formally constituted in January 2018, offering a safe place for men to make friends, learn new skills and mentor others at its first 700sqft Shed at Captain Street in Greenock.
The charity has since gone from strength to strength, and now has a board of six from a cohort of 45 active voting members and almost 500 associate members. The Shed expanded its offering to include a second 700 sq ft workshop space in 2019, with the Shed successful securing funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.
In August 2019, the Shedders took on the management of a community garden space in Gourock and were successful with a Community Asset Transfer – 25-year low cost lease request – for a 4,000 sq ft industrial unit in Greenock in March 2020.
Reflecting on its latest success, Bruce Newlands, Chair of The Inverclyde Shed, said:
"We are absolutely delighted to have won this prestigious award and title. This shows a huge vote of confidence that there are really good people doing some really great things here in Inverclyde!
"It was encouraging to hear about Aberchirder & District Men's Shed share what they have gained from winning the SMSA award last year and we hope to be just as successful. We plan to really maximise the potential of this opportunity to further promote ourselves in our local community, and with funders, to expand our offering and attract more men along to our Sheds.
"It must be recognised that, although this is a competition, there is absolutely no rivalry with our fellow Men's Sheds.
"Sheds are all at different stages and sizes and we have only been inspired, encouraged and supported by other Sheds to implement activities and ideas that have worked for them. We invested in a 3D printer after hearing about Kinross & District Men's Shed creating face visors for frontline workers and launched a carving club after hearing about the success of the modellers' club offering at Garnock Valley Men's Shed.
"This award showcases the great work being carried out by Sheds across Scotland so we can share knowledge and ideas to improve the health and wellbeing of the men in our communities."
Renovation on the new space is targeted to start in May 2021 and the charity has also recently been able to open a smaller Shed focused on digital fabrication/distance working in Gourock, partly as a response to Covid-19 but also to attract a younger demographic with grant support from Inverclyde Community Fund.
All of the team at CVS Inverclyde would like to congratulate Bruce and all of the Inverclyde Shed team and members on this fantastic accolade.
For more details, visit www.inverclydeshed.co.uk