Men’s Shed for Braehead Community Garden

A Men’s Shed will be opening in Stirling in January 2018.  Braehead Community Garden has joined the Men’s Shed movement and converted a shipping container into a workshop.   A public meeting is being held on Wednesday 17 January for any interested local “shedders”. Volunteers are in the process of kitting it out with all sort of tools for making and mending all sorts of things.

Braehead & Broomridge Community Development Trust has secured funding to open a “Men’s Shed” at Braehead Community Garden in 2018.

The Men’s Shed Movement originated in Australia in the 1990s and has since spread worldwide.  Men’s Sheds are similar to garden sheds – they are a place to pursue practical interests at leisure, to practice skills and enjoy making and mending.  The difference is that garden sheds and their activities are often solitary in nature, while Men’s Sheds are the opposite.  They’re about social connections and friendship building, sharing skills and knowledge, and of course a lot of laughter.

Volunteers at Braehead Community Garden have already converted one of the garden’s large shipping containers into a workshop and secured funding to purchase tools, thanks to a grant from Foundation Scotland and Stirling Council’s Community Pride Fund.

Organisers are holding a meeting for interested “Shedders” later this month, with the Shed opening in February.  Initially there will be a weekly two-hour drop-in workshop, but once shedders know what they’re doing, they’ll be able to access the workshop whenever they wish.   Membership of the Shed will be just £12 per year.

Shedders can work on their own projects or get involved with community projects, helping maintain green spaces or building things for schools, libraries or individuals in need. Activities in Sheds vary greatly depending on what activities shedders wish to pursue, but could include woodworking, metalworking, repairing and restoring, electronics or model building.   Sheds attract people of all age and skill levels.

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Men’s Shed men: volunteer Jim Kirk, who coordinated the shed conversion, with Trustee Chris Kane

Braehead Community Garden Trustee, and Stirling East Councillor, Chris Kane, says,

“We already know from other men’s sheds around Scotland that men who are involved report living healthier, happier and more connected lives.   Loneliness and isolation can be as hazardous to our health as inactivity or smoking, and men typically find it more difficult to build social connections than women, particularly when they’re older and retired.  Sheds are about meeting like-minded people, having fun, sharing skills and gaining a renewed sense of purpose and belonging.  Braehead Community Garden is already a great social focus within the community and opening a Men’s Shed is a logical next step.  I can’t wait to see what friendships form and creations emerge from this project.”

Read more from Chris on the Men’s Shed Project

While the focus will initially be on starting a Men’s Shed, organisers hope that if there is a demand, that a “Woman’s Shed” and a “Mixed Shed” will follow shortly. Shedders will automatically become members of Braehead Community Garden, allowing them to take part  in the many social and community events held throughout the year.  Shedders do not have to live in Braehead to join.

Potential Shedders are invited to find out more at a public meeting, held in Braehead Community Garden’s clubhouse, on Wednesday 17th January at 7.30pm.   There will also be a drop-in event at the garden workshop on Tuesday 23rd January from 10am-noon.

The shed is always on the lookout for good quality tools – if you’ve any to donate, please email

For more information on the Men’s Shed movement, log onto the UK Association’s website or the Scottish Association’s website.

Second Annual Braehead Pumpkin Festival a spooky success

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Nearly 300 people enjoyed a spooky Halloween fun-day at Braehead Community Garden on Saturday 28th October.  The second Braehead Pumpkin Festival  started with a pumpkin carving workshop in the morning, with local children and their parents undertaking the messy business of scooping out the innards of their pumpkins ready for carving.

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Serious pumpkin carving activities!

Then with the help of some of Braehead Community Garden’s more artistic members, everybody set about creating some scary or funny or artistic lanterns.

halloween 4The discarded pumpkin flesh and seeds weren’t put to waste with Garden member Donna Rodgers, who also works for local charity Forth Enviroment Link, running a cooking workshop.  Participants made spiced and roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin curry and pumpkin soup.

Donna helping Patsy, Katie and Fiona make some tasty soup.
Donna helping Patsy, Katie and Fiona make some tasty soup.

All of the lanterns made at the workshop, along with pumpkins carved at home across the area, were entered into the after pumpkin show, with prizes for the scariest, funniest and most artistic creations.  There were also awards for the best pumpkin carved by an under ten year old, an under fifteen year old, and best pumpkin that references a movie.

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Then, as the sun began to set, the pumpkins were all lit up for a lantern display in the Community Garden event polytunnel.  Two hundred people came to the garden to see the fantastic creations, enjoy some homemade soup and try traditional Halloween activities including “dookin’ for apples”.   Many Braehead Primary School pupils walked in a lantern procession from the school to the community garden.

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Community Garden Chairperson Chris Kane said,

halloween 7“Carving pumpkin lanterns and cooking together are great family activities, which are even more fun when turned into community events.  The carving workshop was messy and creative and fun.  The cooking workshop showed you don’t need to waste anything and the lantern display at night looked stunning.”  

“Here in Braehead we’re showing that communities who create together and grow together, can thrive together.”

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Braehead Community Garden runs a number of free community events throughout the year.  Membership, and year round access to the two and a half acre garden, costs just £12 per year.  

Even the Braehead flock of hens got to enjoy some of the pumpkins!
Even the Braehead flock of hens got to enjoy some of the pumpkins!

Braehead 2017 Pumpkin Festival

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On Saturday 28th October 2017, Braehead Community Garden will be holding its second Pumpkin Festival – and you and your family are invited to join in the fun.

Pumpkin Carving Workshop.  11am-1pm

img_1919If your carving skills stop at triangles for noses and circles for eyes, then bring your pumpkin to our PUMPKIN CARVING WORKSHOP between 11am and 1pm.  We’ll have carving kits, templates and some artistic volunteers to help you create a pumpkin lantern to impress.

The event is FREE for Garden Access Pass holders and their children, £2 for non-members.  Don’t forget to bring your own pumpkin!

Pumpkin Cookery Workshop.  1pm-2.30pm

img_1934Ever wondered if you could do something with the leftover pumpkin after a carving session?  Come along to our cookery workshop and get some inspiration for recipes and then help creating delightful dishes!  Free for members, £2 for non-members.  Places are limited and this event MUST be booked by emailing 

Pumpkin Show (entries to be submitted at Community Garden between 1.30pm and 3pm)

img_1936Enter your carved pumpkin into our PUMPKIN SHOW and you could win a prize in one of our show categories.  Hand your entry into the garden and we’ll judge the best, before showing all pumpkins in the evening lantern show.  All pumpkins can be picked up on Sunday 30th between 1pm and 2pm.  You can enter in any or all of the following categories:

 

  • Scariest Pumpkin
  • Funniest Pumpkin
  • Best Pumpkin that references a Movie
  • Best Pumpkin carved by a (supervised) under-10 year old
  • Best Pumpkin carved by a (supervised) under-15 year old

The winners will be announced and on display at the lantern festival.

Pumpkin Lantern Festival.  6pm-8pm

Come join us in the garden for a dazzling pumpkin lantern show.  All of the pumpkins entered into our show will be lined up and lighting up the darkness in a spooky show of the best and scariest pumpkins in Stirling.  We’ll also be dooking for apples and having some other fun Halloween activities in our Polytunnel.  Entry is by donation.  Teas, coffees and home baking will also be available.

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