L-R Nick Tindell, Chairman Carse of Gowrie Men's Shed, Bob Foulds, ASC Workshop, Lee Bushell, Service User from ASC, Bill Beckers, Secretary and Graeme Mudie, Treasurer Carse of Gowrie Men's Shed

Our specialist care facility in Perthshire has been recognised for their connection with the Scottish Men’s Shed Association by receiving lifelong membership.

Based in Balbeggie, ASC is home to adults who experience stress and distress, or are diagnosed with learning disabilities.

The facility has a fully functioning workshop on site where service users learn valuable carpentry skills and create all sorts of unique, handcrafted items from scratch in a safe and calm environment.

To further develop their skills and give them an opportunity to socialise with other men, a group of service users from the ASC Workshop began visiting the Carse of Gowrie Men’s Shed in 2019.

As a charity that support men’s health and wellbeing, the Men’s Shed has proved the perfect fit for the service users at ASC.

Now, five years later, the relationship has gone from strength-to-strength with a service user from the Workshop visiting the Men’s Shed every week. To recognise the relationship, the Carse of Gowrie Men’s Shed have waived the annual fee for the visitors from ASC Workshop, making them honorary members for life.

During their weekly visits, the service users are given the opportunity to decide and design what they want to create. They have made chairs, tables, shelving, desks, storage boxes, plant pot stands – all sorts of things.

While the service users relish the opportunity to be creative, learn new skills and work alongside experienced craftsmen, the mental health benefits have been hugely significant. Leanne Fairburn, ASC Service Manager, said:

“At ASC, we support all our service users to reach their full potential. A large part of that is finding opportunities for them to be out in the community and taking part in our visits to the Carse of Gowrie Men’s Shed is a brilliant example of this. Their advocacy of men’s health, particularly their mental health, is something that resonates very closely with the work we do at ASC and I can’t stress enough the great work they do and the difference they make to our male service users. We are beyond delighted that our service users have been made honorary members by the Carse of Gowrie Men’s Shed.”

The visits are led by Bob Foulds, who runs the Workshop at ASC and works closely with the team at the Carse of Gowrie Men’s Shed. He said:

“Some of our Service Users have been visiting Men’s Shed from our very first visit. Since then, we’ve seen how greatly lads like Lee Bushell, who’s here today, benefit from the camaraderie and banter they have with all the team at the Men’s Shed. They know him and understand him, and his needs, which makes all the difference for him.”

The Carse of Gowrie Men’s Shed have been very kind to the ASC Workshop team over the years, supporting the work the service users do, providing various equipment, tools and timber, all of which has been very greatly appreciated.

The Men’s Shed team are delighted to welcome the service users every week and see them benefit from them social aspect of the group.

Graeme Mudie, a member from Carse of Gowrie Men’s Shed, said:

“It’s great to see our friends from the ASC workshop coming along and really enjoying themselves. It’s what the Men’s Shed is all about – it’s about looking after men’s health. We enjoy helping them out too where we can, whether that’s equipment or sometimes timber for their woodwork projects. It was great to be able to make them lifelong honorary members this year.”

Bob added:

“The Men’s Shed team always say ‘it’s nothing’, but it means everything to us. We can’t thank the Men’s Shed enough for everything they do.”