Ruth Maguire MSP joined colleague SNP MSP Christine Grahame in a Member’s Debate titled Men Don’t Talk.

The debate recognised the work of Clare Prenton, who wrote the one-act play Men Don’t Talk, based on the experiences of those involved with, her hometown of Peebles, Men’s Shed, exploring the myth that men do not talk. Based in a fictional Men’s Shed setting, the play discusses issues such as loneliness, alcoholism and recovery, loss of a life partner, caring for a partner with dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from previous service in the Armed Forces, and where the next supply of jaffa cakes is coming from. In opening, Ruth Maguire MSP congratulated Clare Prenton and Inspire Life, the charity who helped fund the project. 

Speaking in the debate, Ruth acknowledged the vital role of Men’s Sheds as community spaces to connect, converse and create. Ruth highlighted examples of the positive outcomes demonstrated by the Men’s Sheds in her constituency, the Three Town’s Men Shed, Irvine Harbourside Men’s Shed and Irvine Newtown Men’s Shed. 

In the Scottish Parliament Chamber Ruth Maguire MSP said: 

“What’s more, many Sheds get involved in community projects restoring village features, helping maintain parks and green spaces and building things for schools, libraries and individuals in need.  

At the end of last year Irvine Harbourside Men’s Shed were made aware of a young apprentice joiner in the town who did not have any tools. They quickly stepped in to help by gifting a tool bag and basic tool kit to get him started. They also recently made planters and a bookshelf for the Puffer Cafe at the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine. 

The Three Towns Men’s Shed run evening classes providing basic DIY skills, camera skills and painting and decorating advice allowing members to share their own skill set with the wider community.  

And, Irvine Newtown Men’s Shed turned pallets, donated by a local business, into fabulous benches, decorations and planters for Dreghorn Library’s garden.” 

Watch Ruth’s speech here: