Men’s Health Unlocked
New city-wide network to tackle men’s health inequalities begins in Leeds.
Launch to take place on International Men’s Day.
Free laptops to get isolated men online, shopkeepers giving health advice to their male customers, and a new Leeds-based men’s magazine, are just some of the aspects of an exciting city-wide men’s health project starting this month in Leeds, coordinated by Forum Central.
“Men’s Health Unlocked”, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, promises to keep Leeds at the forefront of Men’s health nationwide by uniting the different strands of men’s work and creating a city-wide network for men’s health.
In Leeds, men are more likely to get the severe form of Covid-19 and to die from the virus than women, are five times more likely than women to take their own lives, die on average three years younger, and are more likely to die prematurely from nearly every major disease that are common to all genders. (See Editor Notes)
Professor Alan White, patron of the national Men’s Health Forum and who has helped to develop the project, states “We know that there are many men across Leeds who have significant health and social care needs. Leeds has been at the forefront of developing community outreach services, but demand is now critical. This funding will provide targeted support and guidance to men of all ages at this unprecedented and challenging time.”
To meet the challenge of getting advice, guidance and support to these men, key figures in men’s health will now be able to link up, share ideas, learn about Covid and other health challenges specific to men, to make their work even more powerful and far-reaching, and explore ways to take a more gendered approach to men’s health at all levels.
“Men’s Health Unlocked will be a central meeting point for men, and anyone looking to support men, in the city. A place where they can get up-to-the-minute information on men’s health and activities, a place where they can volunteer to play a role in supporting other men, and a place where their voice can be heard and represented to decision-makers at the highest level.”, says Damian Dawtry, Project Coordinator.
Not only will Men’s Health Unlocked finally bring together this ground-breaking work, it will also be running its own three exciting sub-projects over the course of the next few months, designed to address the immediate needs of men in the light of the pandemic, in particular targeting those men who may be experiencing isolation. These will be delivered by three leading charities with extensive experience in supporting men’s health and wellbeing, and coordinated by Forum Central.
Barca-Leeds will be providing isolated men with internet-enabled tablets, giving them free online access to help them connect with other people and services. They will be able to access vital connections such as men’s clubs, or services covering a wide range of areas such as mental health, addiction and money worries.
Touchstone will be providing activities for isolated men, with a particular focus on reaching men who are from ethnic minorities.
The Orion Partnership will be expanding their much-acclaimed Manbassador Project, working with local businesses to point their regular male customers towards services and activities that might help them with their health and wellbeing.
As part of the Manbassador Project, Orion will be producing “Unlocked”, a regular magazine giving information, advice and entertainment specifically aimed at men who are isolated, as well as important updates on staying safe during the pandemic. This will be shared across the city, both online and offline, via food banks, Neighbourhood Networks and of course the Manbassadors themselves.
Other Key Partners
For many years, Leeds has been at the forefront of gendered health, with the landmark State of Men’s Health in Leeds and State of Women’s Health in Leeds reports, as well as the Leeds Suicide Audit (see Bibliography, below), which is held up as the gold standard in suicide analysis nationwide.
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For more enquiries please contact Damian Dawtry, Men’s Health Unlocked Coordinator,
07701 338841 / firstname.lastname@example.org