An update from MenSpeak founder, Kenny Mammarella-D'Cruz...
When the UK coronavirus pandemic lockdown was announced in March 2020, many of us felt that nothing was ever going to be the same again.
Based on my 20 years experience supporting men with in-person talking groups, I knew men were going to need online support to meet them on the edge with changes in work, family, friendships, finances and to help them look after themselves, and those around them, during the COVID-19 lockdown.
In response, I immediately launched MenCheck-In weekday online mini-men’s groups, where total strangers can meet virtually to hang out, be heard and get real about whatever’s going on in their lockdown lives.
We took the opportunity of social isolation to create conscious connection, enabling men to stay calm, connected, sane and safe, by simply speaking out what is going and learning from each other's experiences.
By July 2020, we’ve held almost 100 MenCheck-Ins, with over 600 men attending and donating whatever they can towards our running costs. I was blown away that people had donated enough to pay for our basic expenses.
The money raised has gone and will go towards:
By speaking things out, men have taken the edge off their fears, stresses, isolation and anxiety where they say they would have otherwise got into bad habits, exploded onto others, or imploded with depression.
The numbers of men attending MenCheck-Ins show the need for men’s support groups and that men want to open up and connect with others.
A big thank you to everyone for showing up and supporting yourselves, each other and the MenSpeak community!