The Men’s Health Unlocked network started during 2020 when Forum Central, Touchstone, Orion and Barca came together to create a network for all the great men’s work happening in and around Leeds. Since then, we have secured two rounds of funding from the National Lottery Reaching Communities fund, which has allowed us to deliver some innovative new projects in the city.
- In 2020-1, we delivered a 6-month project that helped men during the Covid pandemic. This included a men’s helpline and evening support sessions via social media co-created with organisations like Leeds Dads.
- In 2022-3, we are delivering an 18 month service, which sees Touchstone delivering a bigger set of projects aimed at improving men’s health in the city.
Currently, Touchstone is delivering four projects. This includes:
- A consultation with men in the city called ‘21st Century Man’, which we work with Humans Being on the delivery of.
- A phone line for men to access much needed support and information about activities and services.
- A project called ‘Digital Trailblazers’, which recruits men’s health advocates to post positive and inspiring men’s health related content on social media.
- Outreach sessions in which we offer a point of contact for men through our stalls and workshops.
Much of our work is also about creating strategic systems change and raising awareness of issues facing men. The network is rapidly growing with monthly network meetings that help to progress and inform men’s work. In 2022, we presented at the annual Men and Boys coalition conference. We also work with Professor Alan White, one of the co-authors of the State of Men’s Health in Leeds report and are part of the push for a national Men’s Health Strategy.