The Scottish Men’s Sheds Association (SMSA) has joined the Unforgotten Forces in Scotland consortium to boost the health and wellbeing of older veterans.
The move will enable more of Scotland’s older ex-servicemen to enjoy the proven wellbeing benefits of being part of a Men’s Shed.
It will also introduce ‘Shedders’ who are veterans to the wealth of extra opportunities and support available to them because of their past service.
Men’s Sheds offer a friendly, welcoming, and healthy environment for men aged 18 and over to socialise, work on personal and Shed projects, and take part in activities together with a purpose.
There are more than 190 Men’s Sheds groups across Scotland.
Extra support available to older veterans through Unforgotten Forces, whose co-ordinating partner is national charity for older people Age Scotland, includes specialist advice, practical and health support, opportunities for comradeship with other veterans, and arts experiences.
‘A large majority of Scotland’s 220,000 veterans are older men, so they are a group disproportionately affected by later life’s challenges including loneliness and loss of purpose,’ said Unforgotten Forces co-ordinator, Doug Anthoney.
‘Men’s Sheds can be a tonic for them, enabling them to rediscover the camaraderie and teamwork many enjoyed in the forces.’
Jason Schroeder, SMSA executive officer, added: ‘The SMSA is delighted to join Unforgotten Forces. We look forward to working with consortium partners towards a common goal – extending our reach to collectively meet the needs of the armed forces and veterans’ community – to offer the right support to improve health and wellbeing and reduce social isolation and loneliness.’
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