A VITAL community hub which helped to reduce isolation and loneliness in 2020 is set to support even more people this year.

The team at Inverclyde Shed got involved in a myriad of eco-focused activities in communities across the district last year.

Shed members didn't let the coronavirus pandemic stop them from keeping in touch and working on lots of different initiatives.

From building orchards and setting up a digital shed, to delivering vegetables to the elderly and creating a remembrance garden, the team's dedication made life better for hundreds of people.

Chairman Bruce Newlands says the Shed - crowned Scottish Men's Shed Association Shed of the Year in October - is a community where people can be comfortable and share their interests.

Bruce said: "Our members face a wide range of daily challenges with their mental and physical health.

"The activities we take part in provide opportunities for our members to make friends and share their skills.

"People join to meet other people, share their experiences over a cuppa and get involved with practical creative projects that help out others in our community."

When coronavirus lockdown hit last March, Shed members set down their tools in their Captain Street base but continued with their work, building four street food larders for Belville Community Garden.

Members also created bird boxes, bat roots and a bug hotel.

When summer was in full swing, Bruce and the team started harvesting veg grown at their patch in Gourock's Shore Street Gardens and donated the produce to residents at Riverside Gardens sheltered housing complex.

Members also spoke to mini horticulturalists from schools and nurseries about gardening, growing and harvesting.

The team then acquired a dilapidated building in Greenock's East Blackhall Street and took delivery of a boat which will be refurbished when coronavirus restrictions ease.

In November, members held a remembrance event in Shore Street gardens to launch a wildflower meadow.

Bruce and the team also helped Bluebird Family Centre set up a soup shed for families collecting youngsters from school, and created a memorial bench for Zachary Holleran - a teenager who tragically passed away in the summer.

They also appeared in a Comic Relief film.

The Shed has received core funding from the National Lottery for five years and in 2020, it was supported by organisations including Cruden and Sanctuary Homes, the Co-op and the Soil Association.

So far in 2021, members have started to get more involved in the virtual carving club and are appealing for food waste donations for their compost piles.

Bruce says that Shed members range from age from 25 to 85 and is pleased that they're all still able to get together online every week for a blether.

He's confident that all the hard work carried out by the Shed in the last 12 months will have a lasting impact on people across Inverclyde well into 2021 and beyond.

Bruce added: "We believe that small acts of kindness build self-confidence, pride and community resilience.

"Where we can, we try to help others."