Men need an MOT.  Last week was Men’s Health Week and the goal of the week is to raise awareness of the health issues that affect men disproportionately and focuses on getting men to become more aware of health problems they may have or could develop and gain the courage to do something about it.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, “approximately 1 in 8 men have a common mental health problem such as anxiety, stress, or depression. When left unattended, these problems can worsen and be detrimental to those affected.”

Over the past year at Genesis Trust, we have had a few women’s groups and there was clear indication from the men that they wanted a men’s only group too that would meet on a regular basis with familiar people. The Genesis team agreed it needed to be something social and sporty.

Enter seven young men from Life Church Bath!  They originally volunteered to help with a clean-up day at the Gateway Centre, but it soon turned into something bigger as these men said they wanted to do more. The Genesis Team had been wanting a men’s group and so they met with these men from Life Church and a few weeks later came up with the Monday Men’s Group.

These seven young men all have full time jobs, but they love hanging out and playing sports too. They also know that life can present many challenges and that a healthy friendship group is necessary for support and encouragement.  They felt they wanted to extend this compassionate community to other men that Genesis Trust supports.

So the Genesis team at the Gateway Centre decided to run a pilot Men’s Group, once a month on a Monday evening.  The group meets for a meal at the Gateway Centre provided at a discount by Cook Bath and then they walk to a nearby park for a game of football.

Sur Fourie, Genesis Life Projects Manager at the Gateway Centre, says, “The group is going very well.  There is generally an equal number of staff and volunteers as guests at the group which means each guest gets 1:1 support.  No one feels left out.”

Friendship and healthy community are a necessary part of our wellbeing.  Sue says, “Spending time together connecting with people and exercising improves our general mental health, confidence, trust and a person’s ability to mix socially.  This is exactly what our guests need!  The aim is to continue the Men’s Group and, ultimately, for the men to join a football club or local team.”

We want to say thank you to Cook Bath for providing food and to the lovely men from Life Church Bath who give of their time to support our guests on their journey to new beginnings and better futures.