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Can you help our Men's Group build a community of friendship?

Man

To combat the problem of poor health and isolation in older aged men, our Young at Heart project has developed a new Men’s Outreach service working with men in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire. Men joining the project will have the opportunity to grow vegetables for Young at Heart lunch clubs, use their hobbies to create items for sale, and learn IT skills.

Over the last four years, the project has set up successful social groups and lunch clubs where older people can meet and socialise. But despite all services being gender neutral, the social groups are dominated by women by as much as 80%. Mark Porter, Project Manager at Young at Heart, said, “men are voting with their feet and are choosing to stay at home rather than take part in a project that doesn’t cater for their specific needs.” Hence the need for a project run by men, for men, where men won’t be passive recipients of a service, but actively involved in making it a success.

The project needs volunteers and is appealing for men who can lend their time to get in touch. There are lots of opportunities to actively contribute to the project – arranging meetings, transporting produce from the project’s allotment to the lunch clubs, driving, helping out in the workshop and much more beyond. If you have skills you can put to use, Young at Heart wants to hear from you.

/media/news/library/man-at-group.jpgMark said, “The biggest threat to older men isn’t smoking, drinking or obesity – it’s loneliness. It’s alarming to think there are growing numbers of lonely older men who may be facing a future alone and without proper support. Right now there aren’t enough specialist services for men, so this project will engage men in worthwhile activities that suit their interests, talents and needs. This project will help them meet new people, learn new skills, and regain their confidence.”

Young at Heart continues to promote active, healthy and happy ageing by providing support to older women and men living in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire who experience social isolation. The lunch clubs and social groups are a space to break the silence of loneliness and come together in a relaxed setting for refreshments or a hot meal, chat, and a range of activities that are healthy, educational, inspiring or simply fun. Volunteer befrienders and gardeners reach out to people in the community, and the project organises regular days out. Mark hopes the new Men’s Project will give local men the confidence boost to join these and other groups and feel less socially isolated.

Call the Young at Heart office on 01782 269990 to get involved.

 

The Men’s Outreach Project is funded by the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

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