THE chair of the Men’s Shed group in Clydebank says its members are ‘desperate’ to return to work following the easing of restrictions.

The group gives people in the town - not just men - the chance to meet, share their skills and ideas, and enjoy the experience of working and learning together.

The group, based in the grounds of Dalmuir Community Centre, was formed in 2014, but has been unable to meet since early 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Scotland’s move into Level 3 restrictions on Monday meant Men’s Sheds could reopen as long as they comply with guidelines issued by the government and the Scottish Men’s Sheds Association – but the Clydebank group has a fair bit of work to do to its home base before its meetings can resume.

Mick Wilson, the chair of the group, told the Post: “We haven’t been in the shed for a year so we have quite a bit of maintenance work to do.

“We’re going to have to change the way the shed operates in terms of the workshop area.

“We’ll have to put infection control measures in place and limit the number of people working in the workshop at any one time, probably down to a maximum of six on individual benches.

“Members will also be doing a lot of remedial work to the kitchen because it’s a bit dated.

“We’ll need to try and renovate the social room too because at the moment it really doesn’t lend itself to small discussions.

“We want to encourage people to chat in smaller groups while still maintaining a distance.

“One of the aims of the shed is to encourage people to talk and engage with others.

“Men, in particular, don’t like talking about loneliness and personal problems in a big group so I think smaller groups would be a good thing going forward.”

Mick said the shed’s members are keen to get back to the group and socialise.

He added: “We have a shed WhatsApp group and when lockdown first happened the group was so busy, but as time went by it became less and less active.

“Those who are still on it are desperate to get back.

“We’re really looking forward to returning to the workshop and we think we will have to open on more days because of the limited numbers.

“Previously we were open for four days but that will probably go to six now because we need to get those extra members through the door without being crowded.

“We started the work this week but it’s still unclear at the moment as to when we can re-open.

“We’re hoping it will be towards the end of May or early June.

“Our demographic is generally 50-plus, so hopefully by the time June rolls around a good percentage of members will have had their first or second vaccinations.”