Kirkcaldy and District Men’s Shed launches £20,000 clean-up campaign at new home

Kirkcaldy and District Men’s Shed have found a new home in the former changing pavillion in the town’s Ravenscraig Park after a four year battle to find a suitable building for the group.

The charity, which tackles social-isolation and contributes to community development projects, previously operated from three sheds within the park’s Walled Garden but has been searching for a new home after it was repeatedly targeted by heartless thieves.

When the coronavirus pandemic struck, the group was unable to meet at the sheds as maintaining social-distancing was impossible which meant that it needed to find a new home.

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Members of Kirkcaldy Men’s Shed from left to right, Janet Black, Glenda Smith, Blake Smith, Margaret Smith, Bill Dewar, and Brian Wilson. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.

Margaret Smith, secretary, and her husband Sandy, who sadly passed away last year from COVID-19, have campaigned tirelessly to find a new home for the Men’s Shed, and at points feared that the charity would fold.

Margaret said: “I’m delighted to announce that after a very long and frustrating wait, Fife Council has finally offered us a lease and we have possession of the former Ravenscraig Park changing pavilion.

"When the council said we could have the keys last week I was completely stunned.

Kirkcaldy Men's Shed secretary, Margaret Smith. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.

"We have changed all of the locks to make it more secure and are now looking for volunteers who are willing to help clean and paint the interior.

"The building itself is very damp and mouldy with us estimating that we will need to raise around £20,000 for work needed before it will be fit for purpose.”

Margaret said that after Sandy passed away last year she felt like giving up but kept going to honour his memory.

"The process of securing the building seemed to take forever, with one hold up after another, and after Sandy passed I felt like giving up,” she said.

"I decided to keep going as that’s what he would have wanted – Sandy was in 2 Para and served in Borneo in 1965 and was suddenly paralyzed in 1988 after suffering from Transverse Myelitis, a disorder caused by inflammation of the spinal cord.

"After he lost the use of his legs, Sandy’s favourite saying was “my life may have changed, but my life didn’t stop, and you never give in” – that’s why I’ve kept being part of our shed and not given up.”

If you would like to volunteer your time to help Kirkcaldy and District Men’s Shed, visit: https://www.facebook.com/dysartboys/

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