A group of men from the Wargrave area of Newton-le-Willows hosted a drop-in event to highlight the importance of working together to support men.
The ‘What Keeps Men Well’ event, hosted by Wargrave Boys and Creative Arena at Newton Community Centre, included a photography exhibition, walking football sessions, a marketplace of support services and a Q&A session to give people the opportunity to find out about the Wargrave Boys group.
Chris Charles, Director of Creative Arena said: “We were successful in our funding application to develop this project through Wargrave Big Local. We started the group 18-months ago at Newton Community Centre with the aim to provide support in a ‘men only’ setting – getting men to explore creativity through photography and explore what keeps men ‘well’ in all senses of the word. ‘Men only’ spaces are vital and the importance of working in the right way with men and with all health professionals is key to the project’s success.”
In attendance were members of the community, services such as St Helens Council’s Healthy Living Team, State of Mind, Creative Alternatives, St Helens Sports Development, Sexual Health and Voluntary Action, as well as the Earlestown Film Studio and Enjoy Football.
The Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens were also present on the day. Councillor Ireland said: “The men from the Wargrave Boys group are such an inspiration. It’s so important that we have spaces like these for men to be able to come together and support each other in a safe and friendly environment.
“We want men to know that it’s okay to talk and to seek help if needed. It’s fantastic that we’ve got communities looking out for each other, just being able to have regular contact with people and a chance to have a chat can make all the difference.”
Terry Ingram, one of the members of the Wargrave Boys group who was the group’s key speaker on the day said: “Our message is ‘two- hours a week can really change somebody’s life’. Those two-hours a week have really made a positive impact on our lives. I just want to thank all those that have made this happen. We’re all friends here and we look out for each other. It really has changed our lives.”
If you or someone you know needs support, visit www.sthelens.gov.uk/mentalhealthsupport for information on local and national support services.