Christine Grahame is SNP MSP for Tweeddale and Lauderdale

Peebles & District Men’s Shed

A decade ago I don’t think you and I would have heard of such a thing as a Men’s Shed, and now quite rightly they’re all the rage. So what is a Men’s Shed? Well it’s what the men (and women actually) want it to be. It’s a bit like the garden shed, which was my dad’s retreat from his five kids where he would sit on a Sunday and read through the papers. He also made dreadful furniture there and kept his garden tools in neat racks. A Men’s Shed is a however not even a shed, it can be a Portakabin, a garage or for Peebles & District Men’s Shed, parked inside part of the former Ex-Servicemen’s Club in Peebles. Dad was alone in his shed, but Men’s Sheds are quite the opposite, they’re about friendship building, sharing skills and knowledge, and of course a lot of laughter. Peebles (etc) Men’s Shed is now looking for further funding to help equip the premises for the 78 members (and growing) it already has. I was delighted to meet Iain Coates and Malcolm Bruce, chairman and secretary respectively to learn how things were going. They’re great guys and I know this Shed will go from strength to strength.

Meeting with U3A

What is it? It is an organisation of locally-led educational groups for people who are retired or semi-retired which allow them to learn about a range of subjects that interest them. There are already 54 U3As running across the country with more planned, although they are already on the go in Galashiels and Peebles. The range of subjects people want to study informally is purely down to the interests of local members. As someone who is working well past retirement age we all know that keeping fit in mind is as important as trying as best we can to keep fit in body. If you are interested this is the website:

From the old(er) to the young

I often think that youth work is at the Cinderella end of our education system. Yet so many young people, often excluded from school or self-excluding would be nowhere without that safety net of the youth worker and a place to go. It was therefore good to invite Dave Hodson of Tweeddale Youth Action to tell the Cabinet Secretary like it is, as they say. I hope and indeed think both found it more than a little useful.