From walking groups to shed clubs, these male spaces are tackling the taboo of poor mental health and supporting vulnerable blokes
Regarded by experts as the GOAT (greatest of all time) of male loneliness interventions. There are 571 sheds across the UK, so you’ve got plenty to choose from. Don’t be put off if, like me, you are to DIY what a lobster is to crochet: cups of tea and a chinwag feature heavily.
Image: Annie Gray
These friendly men’s groups happen all over the country, giving blokes the chance to have a proper chat about the stuff that really matters. Good for your head and your heart, just don’t expect to meet Andy.
Image: Charles Etoroma
A south London-based community project giving men the chance to meet other blokes as they ‘walk and talk’. If you care about your mental health but aren’t mad on eye contact, then this club might be for you.
Image: Scott Johnson
A men’s barber shop collective where all the barbers are trained in suicide prevention. You can chat about your holidays if you like, or you can discuss what’s really on your mind – it’s up to you. See also the black barber shops in London that are giving poor mental health the chop.
Image: Agustin Fernandez
Volunteering is a great way to make friends, and Good Gym offers the chance to not only make a difference but to get fit while you do it. Jog with a group to help an older person in their garden, for example, and meet other kind-hearted fitness freak.
Image: Good Gym
Another south-east London walking group, this one was launched by firefighters but is open to all men. “After a traumatic incident, I realised that I was not coping, and needed to talk,” firefighter Dean Corney told Positive News. So, he and some colleagues set up a walking group. “The response was immediate and positive. The group has gone from strength to strength.”
Image: The Fire Fighters Charity
A social enterprise that offers playdates for lonely dads and their kids in Worthing, West Sussex. “What I get here is openness and honesty,” one dad told Positive News. “We talk about stuff that isn’t only work or football. I’ve had better conversations with guys I’ve just met here than friends I’ve known for years.”
Image: Peter Flude
Main image: Peter Flude
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