Aboyne & District Men’s Shed and Community Facility update.

Aboyne Men’s Shed and Community Facility Committee are pleased to announce the award of £5134.66 from the Co-op Local Community Fund. Many thanks to the Co-op, particularly to the local staff in the Aboyne Co-op who have been so supportive of our project.Also of course many thanks to everyone who has supported us by shopping at “The Co-opie”.

You will all be wondering how things have been going since the last news update. Well, currently we find ourselves working on a couple of funding “hiccups” that have caused us to re-work our strategy for the build part of the project. One of our funders has pulled out completely and unexpectedly. There is nothing we can do about this except work around it. Our major funder has neither said yes nor no, but deferred decision until the New Year. The ‘shed trustees have met with their representative and, as a result, we are now in process of adding further input to our funding application. This re-submission will go in early January, with a decision expected mid-March.

Part of the issue is the apparently restrictive title we have for our project. As you know, it has become much more than a Men’s Shed. It is now very much a community building, available to everybody. Yes it will have a workshop downstairs, but upstairs will be a comfortable social area, with another adjacent room suitable for all kinds of activities. We thought we had got this message across in our funding applications, but it seems we have more to do. We believe that a change of name from Aboyne & District Men’s Shed” to “Aboyne & Upper Deeside Community Shed” might help.

Back to the funding issues – we are of course actively seeking funds to replace those lost when one of our funders withdrew. However, provided that our major funder comes good next year, we have sufficient funds to complete the building to wind/watertight. At that stage, it would be possible to do much of the finishing work ourselves. Many of the trustees and people on the interested parties list have trade and DIY skills. We also have offers, some tentative at present, for materials. Further down the line we may well be asking you all to lend a hand! Do post or email if you have skills/materials that could help us get to the finishing post!

Finally, there are some new thanks to add. Thanks to John Shearer, of Mayell Shearer Ltd., who gave his time to help us gain VAT free status for the build. This was by no means a foregone conclusion – not all charities are entitled to VAT free status for a new building. Thanks also to Jennifer at Tangletree:the trustees had to vacate Unit 9 at the Business Centre at the end of November. Jennifer is now letting us use the group room at Tangletree in Unit 5 for our weekly meetings. Thanks to you ALL - our supporters!


The facility will provide the adult residents of Aboyne and its surrounding area with a wide range of social and interactive amenities close to the centre of the village adjacent to the Highland Games Equipment Store. A major consideration for the location was that it should be readily accessible by public transport, cycle and by foot.

From a well-being perspective Sheds have proved to significantly reduce isolation and social exclusion brought about by age, personal circumstances or lack of amenity. Men's Sheds originated in Australia to serve just such needs and they now exist in many locations worldwide. Aberdeenshire has several sheds already in operation and more, like Aboyne, are in early stages of preparation.

Membership of the Men's Shed is open to all adults residing in Aboyne and District, irrespective of gender. Membership is free, as is access to the facility. Community groups will be encouraged to use the facility, the range of which will be determined by the users and will include a workshop, comfortable social area, computer station and fully equipped kitchen. This will give the opportunity to learn, exercise and pass on skills, new and old - for example metalwork and woodwork, computer use and cooking.

As a not-for-profit charity, the Aboyne Men's Shed trustees gratefully acknowledge the generous assistance of Aboyne Castle Estate in securing the site. Mr Gerry Robb, Architectural Design Services, has given exceptional help in matters of design and planning preparation. Several funding authorities and individuals have expressed keen interest in becoming involved with this worthwhile amenity. Aberdeenshire Councillors and officials have also been very supportive, encouraging the Trustees to press forward with the project.

Just a few words on the Shed concept for those who may not know. Each community Shed is different as it depends on what the members want. In our case we see a restful social area with kitchen, IT connected area with wifi, table for eating and meeting and a significant workshop area with adequate storage for materials. Woodworking, metalworking and benches for fixing/repairing/making items from hobby related activities with access to extensive DIY tools. This will be a place that gives people a continued purpose in life through the blend of socially meeting and the work skills we can apply and share with others.

You can learn more about Men's Shed's by logging into the Scottishmsa.org.uk site or see our own Aboyne Men's Shed page on Facebook;  and of course here on aboynemensshed.org.uk where you can contact us via the contact form (see CONTACT US button). Alternatively email us at:- 


Please note, our Register of  Interest is open for interested  parties, whether as actual prospective Shed members or as a source of skills support e.g. materials, specialist skills or building plant etc.So please DO get in touch.

Regards from the AMS Committee 

Chairman - Stuart Hall ; Vice Chairman - Mike Brooks; Secretary - Dave Marshall;  Treasurer -  Phil Lay;  Brian Paterson, Ken McLean, Doug Riach, Duncan Leitch and Stuart Robertson - Committee  members.