Orkney’s MSP Liam McArthur has pressed Scottish Ministers to look at ways in which health spending might be used to support Men’s Sheds in tackling social isolation and mental ill health.
During Portfolio Questions in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon, Mr McArthur reminded the chamber of the excellent work that Men’s Sheds do across the country, including in Orkney, in addressing these issues.
Responding to Mr McArthur, Minister for Older People and Equalities, Christina McKelvie MSP, said that the government “works closely with community partnership organisations” and offered to discuss these proposals with health colleagues, stating that she could “see the benefit” these services provide.
Speaking afterwards, Mr McArthur said:
“The Men’s Shed movement has been a tremendous success over recent years. I know from the experience in Orkney how invaluable it has been in providing a place to work and relax, pursue hobbies, share skills, have a cuppa and a chat and get practical help with projects.
“Increasingly it is recognised that these facilities make a real difference in tackling loneliness, social isolation and mental ill health. I welcome the Christina McKelvie’s commitment, therefore, to discuss with her ministerial colleagues the potential for health funding to be used to help support organisations like Men’s Sheds.
“Hopefully this will enable existing Men’s Sheds to provide vital support to more people and for new facilities to be established in many more areas across the country”.