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Montrose Men’s Shed need £90,000 to secure Old Ropey future in historic town home

Chairman and founder Allan Hogg in the Montrose Men's Shed. Pic: Kim Cessford/DCT Media.
Chairman and founder Allan Hogg in the Montrose Men's Shed. Pic: Kim Cessford/DCT Media.

Montrose Men’s Shed has a £90,000 target to hit to stay in the place it has made home.

The shed was set up six years ago in the town’s famous old ‘Ropey’ – the one-time Union Street rope works,

But the current owner is putting the premises up for sale.

Montrose Men's Shed
The Old Ropey in Montrose is home to the Men’s Shed. Pic: Kim Cessford / DCT Media.

However, Gable Endies Men’s Shed (GEMS) has been given first refusal on the building.

And the group is determined to everything possible to remain there.

Ideal home

Founding chairman Allan Hogg said the building “ticks all the boxes”.

“It is in a central location and is ideal for access, including those with restricted mobility,” said the 72-year-old retired project manager.

“We’ve repaired it and fitted it out to create well-equipped workshops for woodwork, metalwork and crafts, plus a social room.

Montrose Men's Shed
One of the Men’s Shed members at work. Pic: Kim Cessford/DCT Media.

“This has enabled us to bring our members together for company and to work together, sharing skills and banter.”

Strong links have been forged with local primary schools and the town Academy.

Other projects include planters for Blooming Montrose and participation in a Scottish Government bicycle maintenance campaign.

“We have a deadline of June to raise the necessary funds or we could be homeless,” said Allan.

Men's Shed
The Men’s Shed members tackle a variety of projects. Pic: Kim Cessford/DCT Media.

“We don’t know of any other building which will give us what the Old Ropey does.

“It is also the last remaining ropeworks in Montrose and we are keen to retain this historic building for the benefit of the community.”

The group is pursuing other funding sources, but hopes the community will rally to help it reach it’s near six-figure goal.

Health professional’s praise

And its value has been hailed by the town’s senior social prescriber.

Deborah Benson is based at Links Health Centre.

Health professionals are increasingly recognising the mental and physical benefits of charities like men’s sheds.

And Deborah says GEMS has been a lifeline for some.

“I meet many people who have become isolated and disconnected from their community, either through problems with their physical or mental health or through the life changes that affect us all,” she said.

Montrose rope works
Restoration of a doll’s house in the Men’s Shed. Pic: Kim Cessford/DCT Media.

“They have often lost the chance to be involved in activities that were once meaningful to them and gave their lives a sense of purpose.

“Or they are facing health challenges preventing them from living as they used to or as they would wish to.

“People often face huge barriers to engagement in physical and social activity for numerous reasons.

“This is why GEMS is such a treasured resource in Montrose.

“It is a project with inclusivity at its heart.”

Montrose Men's Shed
The premises are going on the market. Pic: Kim Cessford/DCT Media.

Community togetherness

Deborah added: “It welcomes all ages, backgrounds, temperaments and makes them feel at home.

“It is not a service provided for people, but a vibrant community within which individuals can take part in ways that suit them.

“The shed is about a community working together to give back to the wider community.

“So individuals I refer there don’t feel like they are being given help.

Montrose Men's Shed
The old rope works is an ideal base. Pic: Kim Cessford/DCT Media.

“They are just being given the chance to take a part in a community with a purpose and are assured of being made welcome.

“My hope would be that additional funding would enable GEMS too continue to grow from this surefooted foundation.

“I would love to see it have the capacity to increase opportunities for people facing physical disabilities and mental health challenges.”

Anyone willing to help can donate by cheque or by bank transfer. Money should go to Gable-Endies Men’s Shed, sort code 80-22-60, account no. 14716966.

And the charity can be contacted through www.gemsmontrose.co.uk

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