Last week, for the game against Birmingham City, for the very first time Blackburn Rovers FC, Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, Community CVS and a number of local men’s charities came together to celebrate and recognise the importance of International Men’s Day.
International Men’s Day (19th November) is about celebrating the positive value that men of all ages bring to families, workplaces, and communities – and what better place to celebrate than Ewood Park with thousands of male football fans. Community CVS has been instrumental in bringing together everyone, working closely with many of the groups through network meetings, supporting them and helping them grow. This year’s theme is “it’s good to talk” and locally we have a number of charities, all run by men for men all-embracing this mantra.
Over the last few years Blackburn with Darwen has seen a surge in men’s support groups, all run by passionate volunteers wanting to make a difference all of them have experienced the loss of friends through poor mental health. Driven by saving others from the pain they have created a number of different groups that run weekly any one can access them, on offer there is football, walking groups and talking groups all in a safe environment.
Blackburn Rovers Community Trust have a number of projects that men can access and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council through the “Live well” campaign offer a plethora of different services aimed to support males.
“Men often struggle to find ways to talk about their mental health and well-being – sadly sometimes until it is too late. Our mental well-being is directly linked to our physical well-being so anything we can do to give men the confidence to discuss how they are feeling is to be encouraged. Real progress will only be made if we work together, and the collaboration with Blackburn Rovers FC is a great step forward. The club engages with thousands of men week in week out, and I am sure will provide a great platform for this important work.”
Cllr Damian Talbot, Executive Member for Public Health, Prevention & Wellbeing Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
After a tragic incident in February ’22, the Shad Chefs decided that they would create The Man Hub, a safe space where men could come and talk about their feelings without fear of judgement. They felt that if people could come together in a positive environment, further tragedy could be avoided. Shad chefs run weekly sessions for men.
“It’s brilliant to be asked to be part of something as important as this and on this sort of stage. Men’s Mental Health has a stigma attached to it that needs to be broken. Hopefully events like this will encourage more Men to speak out and realise there is no shame in it. Come on Lads – #Lets_Talk.“
Shane Calvert, Shad Chefs (winners of this year’s Health & Well Being Award @ The Community Volunteer Awards)
“At Spark our aim is to make sure individuals and the environment around them is a safe and healthy place. We provide data-driven insights, led by user engagement, to suggest improvements which can be actioned and measured. But we don’t stop there. When we heard Blackburn Rovers were hosting International Mens Day through our amazing partner, Community CVS, we didn’t hesitate to say yes. By joining forces with fantastic partners in the space of health & wellbeing, we know we can make a massive difference! For anyone interested in learning more about what we do, please visitwww.sparkyourhealth.co.uk.”
Jawad, Bloke Talk and Spark
“In increasingly difficult times it’s important to celebrate men’s lives and achievements to instil hope and inspire others. We know that there are many factors that can impact on someone’s mental health and so it’s important that organisations work together to provide truly holistic support.
“We feel privileged to be a part of this evening’s match day event at Blackburn Rovers and sincerely hope that people feel able to reach out if they are struggling. By doing so, a weight will be lifted, and change can then happen. Don’t be on ya tod”
Paul Hardman, Creative Football
Si Donnelly from Talk Ourselves well offers a great service where men can get out in the great outdoors, walk and talk, do a bit of gardening. Si and his volunteers also raise awareness, educate and empower other males to speak up, give them a voice and a listening platform to assist them to experience Mental Wealth and to continue to build upon their Mental Health needs.
“Offload Northwest would like to thank Community CVS for an absolutely amazing platform bringing together male peer support groups and organisations for a vital coordination regarding the wellbeing of all men.
“Bringing hope to the community that fosters a true sense of belonging.
“Together we can flourish & strive to provide these much-needed positive spaces.
“It is important to have these collaborations to show unity and strength that no man should face their struggles alone, we are much stronger together.”
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