Walking with Men
Walking with Men is a workshop run by men for men. This will be the second workshop within a series to be run this year, at The Secret Space. Our long term goal is to build a supportive community for men. The intentions of the workshops is to facilitate a safe space where men of all ages, and backgrounds can come together and share experiences of what it means to be a man in the modern world, the pressures on men in the 21st century and how we can be empowered to find our voice and identity.
The inspirations behind putting together the workshops, came after an ITV campaign earlier this year. They erected 84 statues at the top of their headquarters, to represent how many men die from suicide each week in the UK. Our first workshop was a huge success where we had 12 men turn up, we realised that this workshop being only half a day, needed to be longer, so this is why we’re running this as a daylong event this time around.
More and more we’re starting to see the vital importance for men having a voice to speak out about mental health and the need to breakdown the old stigmas and social barriers that have been created.
A current campaign that is being run by “Mymanorlondon” which is prompting the statement “ Strong not silent” are making the message that it’s not ok to suffer in silence and that we must get behind men to speak out, is the essence of what we’re trying to follow.
With this week celebrating World Mental Health day never has there been a more significant time for everyone to get behind campaigns like “ Mymannorlondon and ours Walking with Men, to promote and encourage men to come forward and speak out.
In the first workshop we looked at the idea’s around “ man up” & “boys don’t cry” old and now very outdated messages that many of the men at the workshop had received through either parenting, schooling and social influences. It wasn’t surprising how the impact of these statements had on shaping men’s views on what it meant to be a man.
We explored ways in which we as men, can start to change this culture by speaking out and challenge these views. Many of the guys now fathers themselves expressed, how they would ensure that they’re child was encouraged to speak out, be vulnerable and know that its ok for men to struggle and that it’s important for them to be able to speak up about this.
We wanted to give the guys attending the first workshop a full range of different holistic therapies to try, we felt that when we was taking about how to run these workshops, we wanted guys to know that there are many angles in which they can access support for themselves.
Our workshops consist of group exercises and discussions, dynamic yoga and meditation, and a series of small talks from each facilitator, on why they see the importance of men having the opportunity to speak. The next workshop running in November will be co facilitated by Gary Aldridge, Adrian Dennis and Colin Davis. Austin Fenn, plus to add a different element we are lucky enough to have Leigh Keates a male hairdresser and one part of a small food business whom will be providing the food on the day and giving his perspective on the importance of men’s mental health.
A little about all the men involved with the next workshop
Gary Aldridge is an experienced counsellor, group facilitator and recently trained NLP practitioner, with a background of working in the field of addiction for the last 8 years, with a passion for supporting men through talking therapies.
Adrian Dennis is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and NLP Practitioner with 3 years’ experience in working with groups and individuals. Adrian is a firm believer that we have the ability and right to reach our full potential, and works in a positive way to assist clients in being the best they can be.
Austin Fenn worked as a plasterer for 25 years before training to be an integrative counsellor and changing his career at the age of 43. After further training in holistic therapies, including seated chair Indian head and Reiki massage.
Colin Davis is a yoga teacher with over 23 years’ experience and with a background of Martial arts massage and shiatsu. He is passionate about the power of yoga to improve physical and mental health and increase strength, stamina and flexibility.
Black Fig Café is the brainchild of a lorry driver and a male hairdresser with a mutual passion for all things food. We will be providing a prepared meal on the day. We bring our favourite foods from around the globe straight to our customer’s plates, using seasonal and sustainable local produce when and where ever possible.
Be it from our food truck, pop up tasting menus or kitchen takeovers Black Fig Café are committed to delivering food that never fails to impress. It’s very important to us that we give back our community so for every main meal we sell, a meal is generated for a local person in need.
Book a space here.