Orion’s Well Man Programme
Space2 set up its first men’s group almost 10 years ago and now has three active groups within the East Leeds area – Seacroft, Gipton and Meanwood. Not long after Orion partners also recognised a need for safe spaces for men and the Well Man Programme was launched. It now has over 9 groups running across East and NE Leeds specifically for local men to come together.
Each group is unique and runs activities in response to its member’s needs including day trips, sports sessions, barbeques, communal cooking, arts activities and outings and even performing in community productions at Leeds Playhouse. Buddying systems are encouraged within the groups and many participants have met up and socialised outside the structured weekly workshops, reporting that this has helped reduce their isolation and impacted positively on their mental health. Participants also feel increasingly confident about volunteering, becoming advocates for their group and welcoming new attendees.
The Seacroft group’s activities tend to revolve around cooking activities and healthy eating and they created a Winter Warmers Recipe Book which includes stories from the group, tips about winter wellbeing and quotes.
Quote from Men’s Group participants:
“I was nervous when I first came to group but my confidence increased. I engaged in the community via the group, I now attend LS14 where I volunteer. It reduced my isolation through attending the men’s group.”
“When I wake up, I am down. When I come to the group, I am stress free.”
“I’m so glad that you came and knocked on my door so that I ame along. I would have been gutted if I’d have missed this.”
"I never thought I could do this. When I smoked, I couldn't have done this. I'm really pleased."