Mens Heath Day – Stoke

Mark Porter and Shane Rankin Talk about "Check em Lads"

Mark Porter and Shane Rankin Talk about “Check em Lads

It was a stimulating day of quick presentations and discussions designed to fire up thinking, build knowledge and forge new collaborations.

Stoke Blokes Talk Men’s Health

There were Inspiring stories of local men taking action and raising awareness of critical health issues around the world.  Delegates got to hear from the WEA team and friends on new approaches to learning and health: live research work in Stoke-on-Trent

Everyone got to contribute to plans and improve networks with the aim of making learning and good health available for everyone. The venue made use of ‘open space’ and breakout sessions where delegates could ask questions, share good work and discuss the big issues.

The conference was aimed at Health and learning practitioners, community volunteers, and anybody working with men and wider communities within Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, plus anyone else passionate about learning, health or wellbeing. Organisers were keen to stress that although the project is about men’s health, many of the issues discussed apply to everyone.

The delegates arrived as early as 9.00am to mingle and network until the main proceeding got underway at 10:00 am.
The agenda included:

 Making Health and learning accessible for all

with Danny Flynn (YMCA), Marvin Malloy (My Health Matters/Changes), Linda Harrington & Qas Maqsood (WEA)
Weaving learning & health improvements into our everyday landscapes: inspiring projects & people taking action to raise awareness and support others
Phil Thomas (6 Towns Runner) spoke of his experience of being ill as a child and how his parents worked hard to support him, he described his mission to run 12 half marathons in 12 days to raise money for a local charity, as his way of giving back to the community.
I was invited to speak regarding my Movember fundraising efforts. I described how a disparate group of men, got together to raise money and awareness about Prostate and Testicular Cancer, and also about my own recent cancer scare, and how to get properly checked out. Listen to my talk below.
Bret Shah from 6 Towns Radio / Happiness project came to discuss how he had turned his life around by acting upon advice from self-help books to assess how satisfied with his life he was.  He identified key problems and set about making changes to improve his wellbeing.
After lunch, we heard from Mark Porter & Shane Rankin spoke about the “Check em Lads” initiative, and their upcoming local initiative called “Check thee sen“. They had a live link-up with Mens health activist Nick O’ Hara Smith of the Androids website.  Nick campaigns to raise the availability of Male Hormones for boys who are deficient in it and for those who have suffered from testicular Cancer.

The day was concluded by talking about using the web to spread the word & build your own personal learning network. Mike Rawlins (Talk About Local), Clare White (WEA), Carl Plant (NHS Local) & other helpful friendly techie types

The day was concluded by informal coffee at the Mitchell Arts Centre.

The Twitter Hashtag for the day was : #hmm12

More information from Wea Stoke:

The Health Maintenance for Men project has been funded by the Skills Funding Agency and is one of NIACE’s Adult & Community Learning Fund projects. Our aims are to raise awareness of important issues that affect men, develop and pilot flexible learning materials and demonstrate their impact plus showcase a wider range of work that has a positive impact on men’s health. We also want to help build up closer working links between a range of people interested in improving men’s health in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and more widely.

For more information use the form on the right to contact us, telephone             01782 831911       or visit http://www.westmidlands.wea.org.uk/menshealth
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