Come along and join us in our tool shed!

Tool Shed volunteers, from left: Terry Foster; Jamie Viint , facilitator;  Douglas Ward;  Sinclair Mitchell and  Hamish Hamilton
Tool Shed volunteers, from left: Terry Foster; Jamie Viint , facilitator; Douglas Ward; Sinclair Mitchell and Hamish Hamilton
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A hugely successful tool refurbishment project in Kinghorn, which brings older men together in a social setting is set to expand.

Tool Shed at the Ecology Centre has proved so popular that another one is set to open in the new year.

The project, which began in Kinghorn in March 2010 through the centre’s Enviro-mentors scheme, started when a few of the centre’s volunteers complained they were unable to get out in their gardens because of bad weather. They started repairing second hand garden tools and soon others joined in.

Its popularity grew quickly and within months it had grown from a casual once a week project to the centre employing a part-time workshop facilitator and offering training to volunteers wanting to learn more. It expanded in 2012 through funding from the NHS backed Change Fund which recognised the benefits it offered to older people.

To date Tool Shed has sent out 13 fully restored tool kits to communities in Africa to help them become self sustaining, with another two due to go out at the beginning of December. These kits have mainly contained carpentry tools which are highly sought after, while garden tools have been put to good use at the centre as well as being donated to other organisations in the local area.

Now plans are in hand to open a second Tool Shed project at Brag Enterprises in Crosshill, in January next year, after the Ecology Centre obtained funding for a new part-time supervisor who will engage with the local community to find out what activities would best suit the needs of the community.

Jo Hobbett, projects manager, said: “Older men in particular can feel socially isolated and need meaninful volunteering opportunities where they can connect shoulder to shoulder rather than face to face.”