Men and Emotions

I was intrigued by the recent blog, by Rick Belden.

Where he referred to men not understanding their emotions? I remember the training that I received from Trefor Llyod where he talked of young men, only feeling comfortable in showing the feelings of laughter or anger. A good laugh does make you feel better, it releases tension.

But being in touch with your feelings is an interesting process.

I’m being very mindful of this as I talk to friends and family who are experiencing low mood and questioning their lives? Also by opening up the conversation we look to answers in our past as to how you are feeling?

‘Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.”

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

However, I’m also wrestling with another great quote,

‘The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new’, Dan Millman.

So I suppose the key is not to fight the past, to be continually looking for answers. However, you must understand who you are, in order to make sense of what life throws up for you.

Yesterday I met with Brian Topping a great guy, who coordinates Dementia Friendly Rossendale. We talked of memory boxes and memory work. I’ve been really interested in this for a while.  He said that when working with people with Dementia on memory work, you never know what you may unlock and you have to warn their carers, that people in their care, maybe affected by this and display challenging behaviours, that they would not know the root cause of?

Again unlocking the past, at the moment someone close to me, is I feel, still in thrall to their past. Grivevances that he expresses seem to go back to when he was a child and young man. He is venting his frustration onto others that love him,  fighting them, on the backdrop of something else.

For those on the receiving end, you are left confused. You can feel the disquiet but once again they are using that common emotion for men, anger.




Salford Royal Hospital Weight Management Service: A study into male user participation

final report 1

New training available


Training opportunities


Father’s read to kids

Interesting chat with Tim, this morning about how to engage with Dads in Longsight ?

As I’ve already mentioned, feedback from Dads in the area, is that they wish to improve their English. A good idea to tie this in with fatherhood work, would be to develop a programme, where an ESOL teacher provides the English lesson’s and a creche is provided.

In the second part of the session, the work would be around utilising the skills the Dads are acquring in reading to their kids.

This could be a really fun, interactive activity.


‘creating words by young men’

This project proposal builds on my recent work at Hope School. It is something I’d like to do more of, I’d appreciate any comments or leads for funding, etc



‘creating words by young men’

Brief overview

The combination of reading, writing, speaking and listening skills is essential to happiness, health and wellbeing. With this in mind this project aims to improve health and well being targeted at this most vulnerable group, young men, with behavioral and learning problems. The aim of this intervention is to enable young men who are not necessarily interested in writing creatively, who have low levels of literacy to improve their literacy by improving their confidence, self esteem, to also make writing and reading entertaining.

It is also a vehicle to have fun and for young men to enjoy the benefits of a ‘one to one’ intervention with a skilled male practitioner, to give them a chance to drop the mask of masculinity and to explore and articulate their life, in a more positive and meaningful way.

Through a series of workshops and utilising a range of writing activities and games, young men create short stories, and poems which are then produced within a well produced book.

The workshops take into account the young men’s lack of confidence and interest in writing and using individual learning approaches based on each young men’s ability.

What want to change, achieve

  • Improve literacy  which will impact on other areas of study
  • Improve well being by providing an emotional release
  • Increase confidence and self esteem by creating own work
  • Having chance to have own voice
  • To enjoy constructing a story a poem
  • To improve desire to read
  • To improve well being by taking notice of other works and writing methods
  • By improving concentration
  • To complete a project


  • Record conversations
  • keep log of meetings
  • Young men record ‘how much enjoyed session’ use evaluation sheet
  • Write up process-the conversations leading to constructing work
  • The evidence of work itself
  • Photographing young men and art work for book
  • Young men read out or record own work for video or blog


The gap in achievement in reading and writing between boys and girls has widened since 2005. National Literacy Trust research shows that:

• 43% of boys say they enjoy reading compared with 58% of girls

• 24% of boys think reading is boring, compared with 13% of girls

• twice as many boys as girls ‘never’ write

• in English Sats, 40% of girls obtained a standard higher than that expected of their age group, compared with 26% of boys.

A person with poor literacy skills can be very disadvantaged. S/he


• more likely to live in a non-working household

• less likely to have children

• more likely to live in overcrowded housing

• less likely to have access to technology

• less likely to vote

(National Literacy Trust)




Longsight fatherhood project

Interesting consultation with Dads in Longsight last week. Many of the Dads are looking for English Classes, it brings us to wants and needs.  The children’s centre wants to have more Dads volunteering and actively involved in the centre. The men want to improve their English, is there a way to bring these 2 things together ?

Apologies to anyone who may have been waiting for this for how many months ! The last few months have been a little terrifying but also so exhilarating ! When we launched officially in January, we did get off to an amazing start, with the massive research project for Salford Royal Foundation Trust Hospital, the work with Hope School, Liverpool, the training for the NHS, the training for Big Life, Liverpool, Poetry and a Pint for The Whitworth, and not forgetting the amazing workshop for GP’s. If this wasn’t enough, I’m continuing to still develop and learn as a writer and performance artist. Put in some serious legwork with Charlie Pink, in accessing acoustic open mics, had a brill gig for Sangri La (despite guitar problems) and still writing, on and on, with poetry, songs and work on new play. Still adjusting to this new life, still want to secure a more sustained planned approach to the work, but must say I’ve learned an awful lot in such a short space of time and know, there’s still a way to go ! Big thanks to all of those that have helped me get this far, Tim, Charlie, Craig, Pete Smith, Josanne, The Big Life, The Whitworth (especially Esme, Ed and Wendy), Avril, Rohid, Jen, Claire, Brink, Elaine, Paul Stevens, Mike B, John, Sally, Duncan, Colin, Brian and so on and on, the list is endless, reflecting the support needed to get to here and not even mentioned family yet !

Blog coming soon!

Manchester Men’s Health blog coming soon

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