Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!
What an exciting year 2016 was for Being ManKind and the SBL team. We hadn’t realised just how far we’d come in the space of 12 months until we attended the Being A Man Festival at the Southbank Centre in November. This time last year we were at the very beginning of our Being ManKind journey and Volume 1 was just a vague concept. It was at the festival itself that we met lots of inspiring people, such as Emmanuel Speaks, who ended up appearing on the front cover of the book.
This time around our experience was a very different one because now we had a book! We set up a stall for the whole weekend in the Marketplace where we were able to display the book, tell people about our project and invite them to join our community. It was great to share the space with other organisations and charities, all working towards a mutual aim.
The weekend was a huge success – not only did we hear some interesting talks, we also met lots of incredible people who took the time to tell us about their personal experiences. A highlight of the weekend was listening to Professor Green speaking frankly about his father’s suicide and the emotional challenges that face men, particularly in relation to expressing their feelings. We even managed to meet him in person and give him a copy of the Being ManKind book, so we hope he enjoys reading it.
The BAMbassadors (young male ambassadors) nominated one of our very own Being ManKind contributors, Nadenh Poan, as winner of the Brave Ability award, which champions men who live with a disability or chronic illness. Nadenh was a very worthy winner as he demonstrates incredible strength and resilience in following and achieving his dream of becoming a dancer despite living with a disability.
It was a pleasure to meet the Men and Boys Coalition, a network of organisations and individuals committed to highlighting and taking action on the gender-specific issues that affect men and boys. We are delighted to now be a member of this supportive network and look forward to working with them in the future.
What’s next for Being ManKind? Our Being ManKind educational plans are being piloted in schools, colleges and youth groups. We have received an overwhelmingly positive response to date with one teacher informing us she had to end the discussion due to lack of time! Once we have received feedback on all eight sessions from our pilot groups, the revised plans will be available for download from our website for all to access.
We are excited to enter the next phase of the project. We are launching our Kickstarter campaign later this month, so we may continue to build on our work. We will be calling on our friends and colleagues to spread the word far and wide and ensure the campaign is a success, so please watch this space for more information in our next post.