A charity aimed at ending loneliness and isolation among older men is benefiting from a donation from police in Aberdeen.
Officers recovered a hydraulic press during a drugs raid in Torry last year, and had been set to throw the item away.
However, it has instead been donated to Culter and District Men’s Shed, allowing men in the area who are at risk of becoming isolated to take part in a range of projects.
Hazlehead and West End Sergeant Simon Lewis-Dalby believes the donation will have a positive impact on the mental health of older men using the facility.
He said: “From Police Scotland’s point of view we had the opportunity to take something totally innocent which was being used to harm a community and turn it into something good.
“It’s particularly relevant to some of our objectives relating to mental health – especially among senior men.
“We are very fortunate that we have a lot of people who are able to look at the bigger picture and know how best we can do something to help.
“The fact we can take it away from something bad and put it back towards something that’s good is a big bonus.
“It’s really nice for us to be able to do something like that.
“It’s something which can make such a difference to the lives of the people that use it, so it’s great we are able to help out like this.
“Giving them the tools like this benefits the whole community.”
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Originating in Australia, the Scottish Men’s Shed Association was launched in November 2015 with the aim of helping new and existing groups.
It aims to reduce loneliness and isolation by giving older men the chance to meet with others and take part in activities.
Culter and District Men’s Shed chairman Brian Davidson, 69, said the police’s donation of the hydraulic press will help the group’s members make friends and take part in projects.
He said: “It’s great that we have got this donation from Police Scotland. It will help with the camaraderie.
“It gives the guys something to do and gives them a focus. They’ll be able to make things.
“I can promise we will definitely find a use for it!”
The Men’s Shed movement has won praise from a number of bodies, including Police Scotland and the NHS, for its work in improving men’s mental health.
Brian added: “When we are all together we are all on the same wavelength and we all have a great time.
“It makes for a really enjoyable time spent together.
“It’s nice to come down and have a coffee with the guys or get involved in making something.
“We’re able to do that thanks to people donating things which we can either use or sell on.
“We are getting very good feedback from everyone who comes along. Everyone really looks forward to being able to come down to the shed.
“It all helps us in our goal of tackling loneliness and depression.
“We want to get the guys out there and speaking to other people.”
The Culter and District Men’s Shed is open from 10am until 1pm on Mondays, 1pm until 4pm on Wednesdays and from 10am until 1pm on alternate Fridays and Saturdays.