Black Lives Matter


The Background to ManMade

Forward For Life, in partnership with Common Unity and associates developed ManMade to empower are men to have the strategies and coping skills to manage the challenges they may experience as a result of job loss including reduced financial income, loss of time structure, isolation, loss of purpose and changes in identity and relationship status.

ManMade is a very unique man orientated peer support programme. Through a range of approaches, the ManMade project supported men to talk about some of the issues they may have faced since being out of work and address some of the obstacles affecting men being able to talk about how they feel and seek help for these challenges.

ManMade Dudley – 2015

Commissioned initially by Dudley Metropolitan Borough Councils’ Office of Public Health, ManMade was a forward thinking programme that supported men between the ages of 20 and 60 to realise their full potential – initially a tailored 8 week programme providing participants with the skills and knowledge to support their own health and well-being. 

The areas covered included:
  • Confidence Building and self-esteem
  • Wellbeing
  • Physical Health
  • Nutrition
  • Social Interaction
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Mental Health Awareness

The programme sought to provide men with the coping strategies to manage distress that they may be experiencing as well as looking at how men can promote their own mental health and well-being through improved resilience.

ManMade Family – 2015

In Association with Family Action, the developers of ManMade launched an eight week programme supporting men who engage with Family Action in respect of their overall health and well-being.

This men-only peer support programme, based on the highly successful ManMade Dudley Programme, covered the themes of Positive Behaviours, Mental Health Awareness, Self Esteem, Confidence building, identity, assisting life, physical health, loss as well as coping mechanisms.

The ManMade developers, Forward For Life and Common Unity alongside specialist Grassroots Associates worked with delegates to support them to realise possibilities in life through this life affirming, men only peer support group.

The evaluation against the initial ManMade Programme in Dudley clearly demonstrated that this approach gave men a place where they felt able to open up about the world according to them in an environment where positive support and shared advice reigned supreme for the improvement of well-being across the whole group.

The effectiveness and impact of ManMade Family as a pilot programme, in partnership with Family Action was highlighted at ManMade | The Conference on June 13th 2016.

ManMade Dudley 2 – 2016

The ManMade Programme came back to Dudley in 2016. But this time it came with a twist.

Again, wth an emphasis on hope, opportunity, resilience, confidence, wellbeing, interaction and inclusion, ManMade was successful in gaining funding from Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council Office of Public Health to run the programme once more, but this time it’s the members who were driving this opportunity forward.

ManMade proved to be so successful first time round at the beginning of 2015 that the men who took part in it wanted to give something back – that something being themselves. They set up their own recognised member led group and successfully won a small grant from Dudleys Office of Public Health to make ManMade Dudley (2) a reality for other men in Dudley.

With ongoing support from Forward For Life, Common Unity and Grassroots Associates, this groundbreaking approach engaged men who were struggling with life and all it threw at them.

Using the Warwick and Edinburgh Well Being Scale, the ManMade Dudley Peer Support yet again proved to be an enormous success with the men engaging with programme clearly benefiting from the process of engagement utilising a tailored approach that spoke to men and enabled them to speak up for themselves.

ManMade: The Conference

ManMade : The Conference
Men Surviving Change in an ever Changing World – June 13th 2016

These men are husbands, brothers, fathers, sons, work colleagues, guides, friends and soul mates and there is a story to be told.

Suicide affects all parts of society, but suicide rates amongst men remains markedly high in comparison to women. More traditional approaches have focussed on reducing access to means and targeting people with mental health needs to better assure suicidal behaviour and suicide completion is minimised. However, although not always with an aim of preventing suicide, there are many innovative upstream solutions that through placing emphasis on well-being, social inclusion and resilience building, support men to reconnect with life and living.

This conference brought together private, public, voluntary and community sector organisations, individuals with lived experience of suicidal behaviour as well as forward thinking innovative organisations from across the country who work with men who need support.

To date discussions in Public Arenas had given us a wealth of knowledge in respect to clinical and wider service provision challenges, statistics, economic and human costs, theories as to the reasons specific groups of men may be more at risk than others. But whilst the debates raged on in the background and decisions were being made, individual stories from the front line were unheard. ManMade: The Conference provided the opportunities for stories of loss, survival and hope.

As part of Mens’ Health Week 2016, ManMade: The Conference threw on the table an invitation to all (and we mean everybody from all walks of life) to better understand the reasons why many men may think they would be better off dead, the impact of suicide by men, what solutions are already being developed and implemented as best practice examples as well as provide a forum where new possibilities can be considered and new partnerships developed.