Men’s Shed sets the bench­mark for kind­ness.

Group makes new bench for gar­den-lov­ing 88-year-old

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - JIM MIL­LAR jimil­lar@the­

His gar­den bench was in a ter­ri­ble state – every time some­one sat on it, it seemed like an­other bit fell off. KAY SCOTT

A re­tiree re­ceived the birth­day sur­prise of a new gar­den bench thanks to the gen­eros­ity of Ar­broath Men’s Shed af­ter a neigh­bour no­ticed his old one was fall­ing apart.

Ge­orge Wilson, a re­tired cleaner and dairy worker, will be re­lax­ing in style out­side his home as he cel­e­brates his 88th birth­day to­day, af­ter his neigh­bour, Kay Scott con­tacted the com­mu­nity group and asked for help.

Kay, who owns Kay’s Clean­ing Ser­vices said: “Ge­orge has lived here for nearly 12 years, and he won the coun­cil gar­den com­pe­ti­tion for 11 years on the trot.

“He re­ally en­joys his gar­den but ill­health means he can’t do much gar­den­ing him­self any more.

“His gar­den bench was in a ter­ri­ble state – every time some­one sat on it, it seemed like an­other bit fell off.

“When the Men’s Shed peo­ple in­spected it, they said it was so rot­ten and had wood­worm, that they couldn’t even burn it.

“Ge­orge is a great neigh­bour, and I pop in to check on him two or three times a day, and he al­ways gives my dog toast for break­fast that is but­tered and the crusts cut off.

“Mak­ing the bench for Ge­orge is a re­ally fan­tas­tic ges­ture by Men’s Shed, and the pre­sen­ta­tion was over­whelm­ing.”

Mr Wilson said: “I just popped out for my mes­sages, and when I came home there was a re­cep­tion com­mit­tee wait­ing for me out of the blue with the bench.

“I’m very grate­ful, and it moved me to tears.”

Group mem­bers have since re­turned to ad­just the bench, and will also be tidy­ing up and re­mov­ing rub­bish from the gar­den.

Ar­broath Men’s Shed trea­surer Steve Charl­ton said: “A Men’s Shed group is a place where men can feel at home and pur­sue prac­ti­cal in­ter­ests.

“Mem­bers share tools, re­sources and skills, and work on their own projects in a safe, friendly and in­clu­sive en­vi­ron­ment.

Mr Charl­ton in­vited peo­ple in­ter­ested in join­ing the group to get in touch: “We are al­ways happy to wel­come new mem­bers, and we are also keen to look at new projects to get in­volved in.

“We are cur­rently in dis­cus­sion with the coun­cil to se­cure big­ger premises, and I hope that we will be in a po­si­tion to move soon, which will en­able us to take on larger projects and help more mem­bers of the com­mu­nity.

The group can be con­tacted via the Ar­broath Men’s Shed Face­book page.

Pic­ture: Dougie Ni­col­son.

Mr Wilson, seated on his new bench with Kay Stur­rock. Back row: Bench-maker John Pear­son, Ar­broath Men’s Shed trea­surer Steve Charl­ton and chair­man Jim Christie.

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