“Our Association and member Sheds will have even greater demands made upon them, in the near
future, as more men will require the kind of facilities and opportunities that Sheds provide
following this prolonged period of pandemic. Sheds have always been resourceful and I am
confident that they will be again in meeting the demands made upon them.”

David Gardner, SMSA Chairman

REPORTING ON THE 1ST APRIL 2020 TO 31ST MARCH 2021 PERIOD

I have to report that the last twelve months have been the hardest that the SMSA has faced, since it was created in 2014, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

A year of almost total shutdown with only a few outdoor activities being able to carry on but many resourceful Sheds have managed to keep connected with their members by adopting Zoom, Microsoft Teams or even YouTube as a platform of communication.

I am old enough to remember when Zoom was a description of speed in a cartoon but today it is accepted, at all levels, as a new norm way of holding meetings and general chat sessions. We have also been able to keep in touch with members throughout Scotland with The Scottish Shedder magazine for which I would like to thank Michelle for all her hard work, professionalism and her understanding of the ethos of Men’s Sheds.

On the political front, we have enjoyed support across all of the main parties in Scotland with an excellent debate in the Scottish Parliament in February 2021 which has resulted in the Scottish Government talking about longer-term funding for the SMSA.

For the first time, the SMSA prepared a Manifesto outlining our ambitions for the association going forward. This Manifesto was distributed to all candidates in the forthcoming Scottish election and will then be sent to all successful MSPs thereby keeping the SMSA and the grassroots Movement in the forefront of their minds.

The 2020 ‘Men’s Shed of the Year’ awards were very closely contested with Inverclyde Men’s Shed being crowned the winner, Garnock Valley Men’s Shed the runner-up and Kinross and District Men’s Shed in third position. Thank you to everyone who voted and we look forward to nominations for 2021.

We can now look forward to getting Sheds reopened as soon as the Scottish Government announce that it is safe to do so therefore the SMSA has issued its guidance for reopening and we encourage all Sheds to follow this to protect Shedders.

Our Association and member Sheds will have even greater demands made upon them, in the near future, as more men will require the kind of facilities and opportunities that Sheds provide following this prolonged period of pandemic. Sheds have always been resourceful and I am confident that they will be again in meeting the demands made upon them.

Sue Salter joined our team in March 2021 and has taken responsibility for the administration role and I would like to officially welcome her to the SMSA.
May I also on a personal note thank Jason for all his support and advice in my first year as Chairman.

Finally, we are a growing organisation and require more Trustees to enable us to keep supporting Sheds and promoting the Shed movement therefore if you feel that you can make a positive contribution to the future of the SMSA, please let us know as working “shoulder to shoulder” is what the SMSA is all about.

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