International Men’s Day

International Men’s Day is on Thursday 19 November and marks the tenth anniversary of it being part of the national calendar in the UK. Way back in 2010, a few hardy souls got to together in Brighton and decided to take up the challenge of making it an event here. Just as it had been in other parts of the world since it was revived in 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago.

Ten years later and the event has taken off with the last two years seeing over 200 events annually taking place. These range from a Parliamentary debate, policy launches, employer days, community events, health days, business events, debates, student events, political events, gigs, conferences, competitions, comedy nights and charity fundraisers. It has grown to be the most popular celebration of the day anywhere in the world.

The day is overseen by the Men and Boys Coalition, a national charity supporting the wellbeing of men and boys, which UK Men’s Sheds are a member of. The three themes of the day are:

  • Making a positive difference to the wellbeing and lives of men and boys
  • Raising awareness and/or funds for charities supporting men and boys’ wellbeing
  • Promoting a positive conversation about men, manhood and masculinity

The days gives organisations a chance to focus on a range of issues such as men’s health, mental health, isolation and loneliness to other issues such as male unemployment, fatherhood and homelessness.

Many Men’s Sheds have supported International Men’s Day down the years and it would be great if more did so in 2020.

There is a national website (www.ukmensday.org.uk) with lots of information about the Day is, who it is for and ideas on what to do. There is also a logo that can be used and anything you plan to do can be listed on the national events page. It is a great national event to be involved in.

Without lockdown, it would have been an ideal reason for holding open days, recruitment events, meetings and get involved with other local organisations (councils, charities, businesses – many of whom will hold events). However, with the restrictions in place, it is still a good reason to hold a virtual event/meeting/fundraiser, a virtual recruitment day, check in with your members or any way you see fit. If your shed and any of your members are on social media, it would be great to include #internationalmensday.

The days gives organisations a chance to focus on a range of issues such as men’s health, mental health, isolation and loneliness to other issues such as male unemployment, fatherhood and homelessness.

Whatever way you get involved, it really helps to bring momentum to the whole event and shows solidarity for all those other people and organisations taking part. It also show solidarity with all those men who may be struggling, may think no one cares and think there is no help out there. A collective voice on International Men’s Day will make a difference – please get involved if you can and stand shoulder to shoulder with men and boys across the whole country!

For further details, please email Mark Brooks via contact@ukmensday.org.uk and www.ukmensday.org.uk



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