FUNDING for a men’s mental health charity, which runs two branches in Clackmannanshire, has been confirmed for a year amid future uncertainties.

The Scottish Government has confirmed it will provide money to support the Scottish Men’s Shed Association (SMSA), following reports that the charity was on the cusp of being wound up as it faced a funding crisis.

There are two sheds operating in Clackmannanshire, including Alloa-based Forth Valley Men’s Shed and Wee County Men’s Shed at Devonside and the Advertiser previously reported on how both have been instrumental in improving men’s mental health in the area.

READ MORE: Men's Shed praised for wellbeing efforts


Funding for the charity was previously scrapped in 2022 but a £75,000 grant was agreed last year and Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Alexander Stewart last week raised concerns over the future of the organisation.

It came after SMSA chief executive Jason Schroeder said the charity only has funding left for about nine or 10 months.

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: SUPPORT: MSP Stewart has been praising the efforts of shedders in Clackmannanshire

Mr Stewart said: “I am an enthusiastic supporter of this excellent organisation, including Forth Valley Men’s Shed and The Wee County Men's Shed in my region.

“They are seen as possibly one of the most effective prevention and life affirming movements and are instrumental in improving men’s mental health.”

He questioned why the government did not see funding the organisation as a priority “when it is saving lives”.

On Tuesday, social justice secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville confirmed a U-turn on the decision to cut funding.

She said: “The Scottish Government has provided £795,000 worth of funding to the Scottish Men’s Shed Association since 2016, supporting the movement to grow from five sheds to 200 across Scotland.

“We understand that it’s a very challenging time for small organisations and that the SMSA are working to secure funding from charity donors and from the private sector.

“Given this, I can confirm today that we will work with the organisation to identify and to provide the funding for this financial year to ensure that we support them in the months ahead to develop broad, sustainable support for this important national organisation.”

She added she hoped this will avoid future uncertainty while assisting sheds to flourish.

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: SHED: Funding has been confirmed for men's sheds for a year but there are calls to ensure the

However, Mr Stewart is calling for more of a strategic plan to be worked out to ensure the charity can be sustained for the long-term.

He highlighted that the £795,000 funding was provided over a 10 year period but a “tenth of this doesn't even meet half of the association's operating costs”.

Mr Stewart added: “Scottish Men's Shed Association needs an annual funding of £360,000 to support over 200 shed groups across Scotland, so therefore I asked [what] the Scottish Government is going to do about ensuring this life-saving movement is protected and properly funded going forward.”