The Men’s Activity Network in Hampshire brings men together through social, community or interest-led groups. This growing network is currently working with 20 men’s groups across the county and is looking for more to sign-up to reap the benefits of membership. Inspired by the men’s shed movement and part of a special European project, Interreg 2 Seas Step by Step (SBS), the Men’s Activity Network opens doors to funding for men who want to set up or develop a men’s group. It also offers information, advice and training for members and connects them to a wider network. The rationale is to break down barriers for men which in turn makes a positive difference to their physical and mental health.
Other projects to support men in Hampshire include:
- The shed-in-a-bus in Basingstoke involving a local men’s group converting a double-decker bus which will travel around Hampshire, inviting men to step aboard to make and mend things for themselves or their community. It brings the benefits of meeting like-minded people, as well as developing practical skills, which has a positive impact on health and wellbeing;
- The Strong Grandpa initiative which helps men to connect with each other through Facebook for mutual support across the generations;
- The County Council’s Be Size-Wise campaign which encourages men to stay healthy in middle age. Research has shown that men in this age group often find it difficult to recognise that they are overweight, so the campaign, designed and tested with Hampshire men, highlights the support available to those who would like to lead a healthier life and shed a few pounds.