Men’s Den was set up back in June 2016 by the Health sector of South Ebbw Fach Cluster Communities
First. The project was initiated in response to men stating projects and courses were primarily attended by women and the men wanted something they could call their own.
Launched as part of Men’s Mental Health week, the Men’s Den project initially ran weekly at the Abertillery Youth Centre and incorporated activities such as arts and craft, pool, table tennis and games, cookery, woodwork, willow weaving and metalwork sessions, walking football and gentle exercise.
The men in attendance helped develop the week itinerary with support from the staff and included drop-in information sessions from other professionals and organisations to raise awareness of men’s health and health and wellbeing in general.
Nestled at the top of the south Wales Valleys, Blaenau Gwent is packed with a rich history and heritage of the mining industry, the steel works. Also, it has the history of the Chartists movement, and it is the birth place of the National Health Service.
Staff from Communities First worked with the participants and organisations such as the Youth Centre and Tai Calon to ensure, with the closure of the Programme, projects like Men’s Den had the support required to continue and thrive into the future.
Amanda Chard, then Health Lead Officer for Communities First said;
This is a project I am so proud of. To see the difference in the men attending weekly, to spend time talking to them and getting to know people was special. The support we had from other organisations was brilliant and with funding we were able to develop weekly planned rotas so those attending had plenty of choice of activities and there was something for everyone. To see this project continuing after all these years is a testament to all those who supported, but recognition has to go to the men who have given so much of their time and effort to ensuring this remains a feature in their community.
You have done an amazing job and you should be so proud. I wish you all the very best for what lies ahead and really enjoy hearing the updates.
Projects & Events
Intergenerational event (Hawaiian Beach Day) of local primary school, local Ukulele group, and Men’s Den (Blaenau Gwent)
Xmas event at the Youth Centre in Abertillery
Decorate your mug event
Ten Pin Bowling at the Super Bowling at Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Village
Outing Day at St Fagan National Museum of History in Cardiff
Intergenerational Musical event
Visit by MP Nick Smith
Visit by AM Alun Davies
Men’s Den (Blaenau Gwent) took part at the Senedd/Cardiff organised by Men’s Sheds Cymru
Guitar making project
People Say …
“Has helped me to make new friends and increase social interaction”
“Helped me with my mental health”
“I have had an overall improvement with my health and fitness, I’ve learned new skills, met new people and improved my social life”
“I feel better for being out and attending the sessions makes me happier”
“It’s a place where I can take my husband, knowing that he is in good hands”
“It gives me a little time to myself, to have a cuppa, get my hair done”
“A brilliant idea”
Intergenerational Event (Hawaiian Beach Day) Of Local Primary School
Christmas Event At The Youth Centre In Abertillery
Ten Pin Bowling At The Super Bowl Merthyr Tydfil
Day Out At St Fagans National Museum Of History In Cardiff
Intergenerational Music Event
Decorate Your Mug Event
Getting Ready To Board The Bus For 10 Pin Bowling
Mens Den (Blaenau Gwent) Members
Mens Den (Blaenau Gwent) Taking Part At The Senedd Cardiff
Rotary Group Brynmawr
The Guardian Six Bells Colliery Abertillery Video By Pucka Mucka
Our Aims …
A welcoming space for individuals of Blaenau Gwent and surrounding area to socialise and make friends, and hence enhance the wellbeing of men in the community.
The opportunity for members to participate in activity that enhance personal skills and build self-confidence.
With statutory and the third community sector organisations, to shape demand in the delivery of services for those affected and to reflect the needs of the individuals and families in relation to mental health support.
About social interaction and the support of isolated members of the community.
When it rains look for rainbows - When it’s dark look for stars