Voting has now opened for the public to have their say on who will be crowned this year’s ‘Scottish Men’s Shed of the Year’ 2021.
The Scottish Men’s Sheds Association (SMSA) has announced the top five Scottish Sheds, shortlisted by the SMSA’s Board of Trustees, for this prestigious award that recognises and rewards the contribution and impact that they make to society. The five finalists are Aboyne & District Men’s Shed, Dumfries Men’s Shed, Dunoon Men’s Shed, Stonehaven & District Men’s Shed and Westhill & District Men’s Shed.
Jason Schroeder, SMSA’s Executive Officer, said: “The SMSA is delighted to have received such an excellent response, and an incredibly high standard of applications, for this year’s awards. This year, the SMSA Board of Trustees changed the process to ‘blind judging’ and all references to names, areas, regions, partners etc were removed. This afforded the opportunity for the Trustees to review the applications based on the Men’s Shed model, their growth, their response to members’ needs and the impact they have in their communities without knowing who the application was from.
“As with previous years, this was an extremely difficult decision for our judging panel. The decision was also made, given the volume of applications received, to increase the number of finalists from three up to five to give more Sheds the opportunity to be showcased and promote good practice through the Awards.
“It is inspiring to read about the life-changing impact Sheds are having in their localities and these Awards recognise and reward this work being carried out by vital volunteers across Scotland who are striving to improve the health and wellbeing of men over the age of 18.”
Bill Allan, Chairman of Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed, said: “We are delighted to receive the news that our Shed is on the shortlist, especially on reading the other applications and seeing the effort and dedication of the other Sheds involved. It is heartening to see such involvement by men to the benefit of the community, and the SMSA is to be congratulated for such an outcome.”
Brian Kerr, Secretary of Dumfries Men’s Shed, said: “It is an honour, and huge achievement for our Shed and community as a whole, to be shortlisted for this award as recognition of what has been achieved over the last year. After successfully obtaining our new much larger premises in November through the Community Asset Transfer process, we completed the move from our old Shed during the pandemic, navigating through lockdown.
“Since then, we have carried out repairs to the building; decorated downstairs; and set up the workshop, games rooms, kitchen and main dining/social room. We have also recently received funding from the National Lottery Community Fund to purchase computers and printers to set up a new computer suite so that our members can learn basic computer literacy and internet training to ensure we always stay connected. It has been an extremely busy and eventful year and I hope we will continue to grow and be able to help more people in Dumfries as we continue to add to and improve our facilities. I would like to thank the members of our Shed who have freely contributed their time, hard work and support in order to make all of this possible.”
Stuart Ellis, a Trustee of Westhill and District Men’s Shed, said “We are thrilled, immensely honoured and thankful to the SMSA Trustees for shortlisting our Shed for this award. The amount of effort freely given by our members to help and support our community, and each other, has been truly inspirational as demonstrated by our recent award of the Queens Award for Voluntary Service. During the year, we have also completed the fit out of an extension to the Shed, with all work carried out by our members. Re-organisation of the workshops and social area has provided more space in each area, allowing us the opportunity to add more services and activities to our already busy programme and accept more new members.”
Ian Graham of Dunoon Men’s Shed said: “Our Shed is delighted to be shortlisted for this award. We are hoping that the community of Argyll and Bute will vote for us for this prestigious honour.”
Mike Brooks, Chairman of Aboyne & District Men’s Shed, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted for SMSA’s ‘Scottish Men’s Shed of the Year’ 2021. Whilst the Shed has only been open for a few weeks, we as a group have been working since 2016 to get a Shed up and running. Little did we know then that we would be building a Shed from scratch, and in doing so would also end up providing a wonderful hub space for other community groups to use.”
The awards event will take place virtually on Zoom again this year and will coincide with the Association’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday 4th November 2021, 10am to 1pm. The winner will receive the esteemed targe trophy – designed and collectively created by the SMSA and several Sheds – to display at their Shed for a year on top of a cash prize and other goodies.
The public has until midnight on Sunday 17th October 2021 to vote to crown the winner.
The 2020 ‘Scottish Men’s Shed of the Year’ title went to The Inverclyde Shed.
***DATE FOR YOUR DIARY***
SMSA AGM & ‘Shed of the Year’ Awards 2021
SMSA members can register to attend the virtual SMSA AGM and ‘Scottish Men’s Shed of the Year’ Awards 2021 on Thursday 4th November 2021, 10am to 1pm on Zoom.
Hear from the SMSA on its key highlights of the year and future plans. On the day, SMSA will also announce who will be crowned 2021’s ‘Scottish Men’s Shed of the Year’.
Confirmed speakers include: Sir Harry Burns (SMSA Patron), Charles Wallace (Scottish Veterans Commissioner) and Professor Barry Golding (Internationally-published researcher and writer – talking about his new book, ‘Shoulder to Shoulder: Broadening the Men’s Shed Movement’).
Booking is essential, click here to register your place today.