Duns and District Men’s Shed set up in Gavinton Church Hall

A group of eight people standing smiling

Published: Monday, 4th December 2017

Duns and District Men’s Shed is delighted to be moving into their new premises in Gavinton Church Hall.

The group reached agreement with Duns and District Parishes to make use of the space on a 12 month trial basis.

Set up in the spring with support from the following, the Men’s Shed gives central Berwickshire residents the opportunity to come together and make a difference in their local community:

  • the Community Capacity Building Team
  • local charity A Heart for Duns
  • Volunteer Centre Borders
  • Berwickshire Association for Voluntary Service

They have already made significant progress by becoming constituted, obtaining charity registration and opening a bank account but took longer to find suitable premises. When they heard that the church hall was a possibility for them, they were keen to take up the offer.

They also received some monetary donations including a generous sum from Berwickshire Housing Association and a grant from Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund, which will enable them to cover their initial start-up costs.  

In return, they have made a number of contributions to the community through:

  • the restoration of a seat at the Knoll Hospital
  • involvement in Duns Civic Week
  • supporting events held for Silver Sunday in October.

Men’s Shed member, Alex Small

“I’m a retired time served joiner and worked for a number of years in the building, aircraft construction and development industries followed by 25 years as a university technician, also on research and development. I became a ‘shedder’ as I would like to think I have a broad knowledge to pass on and would look forward helping others develop their own skills and share their knowledge.”

Reverend Stephen A. Blakey, from Duns and District Parishes

“As a congregation we are involved with the local community in a whole range of projects such as Duns Foodbank, the Dementia Friendly Café as well as the Kirk Kids mother and toddlers’ group. We see the Men’s Shed as an important opportunity to support another aspect of community life; it’s a win-win solution and is good for the parish church, the community of Gavinton and the Men’s Shed group themselves.”

Councillor Tom Weatherston, Executive Member for Adult Services

“The Men’s Shed initiative is proving hugely popular right across the Borders with sheds either open or in the process of being formed in Coldstream, Eyemouth, Galashiels, Hawick, Jedburgh, Kelso, Lauder and Peebles. I have no doubt that Duns and District will make excellent use of this space. I wish them every success with their venture and look forward to seeing the benefits that it will bring not only to their membership but also the wider community.”

New members welcome

The Men’s Shed is keen to attract new members and ideas about projects that they could become involved with. They are also looking for donations of unused tools and machinery of all kinds and to hear from anyone who may have suitable premises they could use in Duns itself.

Men’s Shed member, Alex Small

“We are extremely grateful to Duns and District Parishes for the use of their hall for the next 12 months but going forward would be looking to establish a base in a more accessible central location. We are currently in negotiations with SB Cares for the use of a garage at Lanark Lodge for storage but would welcome any ideas that people might have for workshop space closer to the town centre.”

More information

Images of the Duns and District Men’s Shed members are available on Flickr