Fife-based Men’s Shed is biggest in Scotland

Bob McPhail set up the Men's Shed in 2017
Bob McPhail set up the Men's Shed in 2017

In February 2017, Kennoway man Bob McPhail shared his plans to set up a new social club in the village.

It has been 19 months since Bob invited members of the community to attend a meeting to gauge how much interest there would be in creating a men’s shed.

He was greeted with an enthusiastic response from local men and women, mostly pensioners with time on their hands.

But Bob admits he was “shocked” when he received a call from the Scottish Men’s Shed Association last week to let him know the Kennoway branch had more members than any other club in Scotland.

Kennoway Community Shed boasts around 50 registered members, with dozens attending each day it is open.

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It has also grown from meeting just once per week, to opening its doors twice per week.

The attraction of the group is that members can partake in a number of activities, from gardening and crafting, to just relaxing and socialising. There are also plans to introduce metalworking.

The success of the club has also been a boon for the village.

Last year, for the first time, Kennoway had its own Christmas lights – in part thanks to the efforts of the club.

It has also improved the general look of the town, installing more planters and hanging baskets. Members are also in the process of setting up an allotments.

Bob says he is “proud” of the club members.

“Everybody in the village comes up and says how great we’re doing,” he added.

“But it’s not really me – I’m just so proud of the members.

“We’re helping tackle isolation and loneliness.

“They feel part of something and when they leave they feel they’ve achieved something.”

Bob is often busy planning for the future, applying for funding grants and trying to find the equipment needed for activities.

He is also having to plan for the Christmas lunch, which 34 club members will be attending.

Kennoway Community Shed is also special in that – despite the name – it is almost a 50/50 split between male and female members.

And while the club is mostly made up of pensioners, it is open to anyone over the age of 18.

Kennoway Community Shed meets on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am at the Kennoway Community Centre.

For more details visit the Kennoway Community Shed Facebook page.