Best Community Campaign

Men Up North

It’s OK to not know everything. Be open to collaboration as a space to innovation and create clarity of expectations and mutual benefits from all parties.

The Campaign

Men Up North (M.U.N) is an innovative volunteer-led men’s talk group in Sheffield with the goals of reducing mental ill health, suicide rates and loneliness in men. It was started in 2017, following three of Angga Kara’s male friends taking their lives. This impacted him greatly and led him to start a regular group for men to explore personal growth and self-leadership, providing safe space conversations & community through an iterative feedback process.

awards

We’re really surprised and grateful to be shortlisted. I hope this award can open up new networks for us to connect to.”

Angga Kara

awards

We’re really surprised and grateful to be shortlisted. I hope this award can open up new networks for us to connect to.”

Angga Kara

The Change

Through this, members concurred that the groups have reduced symptoms of ill mental health in the men and on some occasions prevented them from contemplating taking their own lives. They also have a high return rate (over 80%), with most members saying it was the level of safety, honest conversations and friendships that brought them back.

Men Up North is one of the most racially diverse men’s groups in South Yorkshire, with fifteen different heritage backgrounds of men aged between 18 and 72. Over 1,100 men have participated.

Their first regular space was provided by Sheffield Hallam University which led to collaboration on a bi-anual Symposium of Masculinity bringing together academics, practitioners, councillors and the public on the topic of masculinity.

They later moved to a more accessible venue – a shop after hours. This led to the idea of takeovers, from pubs, boxing gyms, Nando’s, food halls to trendy barber shops. The aim was reframing the conversations that happen in spaces that men occupy already.

They also have a Dads In Business group focused on working dads, currently running a pilot project with Amazon corporate offices.

Due to CV19, we’re also now running regular online meetings and a men of colour growing project combining nutrition, cooking, connection to nature.

 

Advice

It’s OK to not know everything. Be open to collaboration as a space to innovation and create clarity of expectations and mutual benefits from all parties. Creativity is key create room to allow for learning from mistakes.

The main thing we found is to recognise skills within the community and create a space to activate them.

Who else was involved?

Shout out to our volunteers & regular members : Martin F, Dave H, Omar A, David D, Michael P, Alex J, Tiv R, Max B, Mark Y, Dave H, Mark N, Ryan S, Jamie B, Tim V, Abdi Ali, Matt B and more.

Thank you Sheffield Mental health guide, People Keeping Well Partnerships, Sheffield Flourish, Sheffield CCGs, Maxine G ( Sheffield Hallam University), Zak Ahmed (Aalfy & 108 The Moor), Ahmed Al-aagam ( Unltd ), Joth (Savills Barbers), Dominic G ( ZZero Visuals), Rob T ( 0114 Marketing), Harry ( Nando’s Sheffield), Tomo H ( Edo Sushi ), Khairul Y ( GB’s Satay ), Mike N ( Steven Miller Foundation ), Dalton L (M.U.N. Hartlepool ), Tim N (Green City Action) for support and referrals.