The ‘For Men To Talk’ Podcast

What is a podcast? Well, it’s a digital audio file made available on the internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, new instalments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.

We are now on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, where you can listen to previous interviews from radio stations that our founder, Luke Newman, has been invited on. 

We have future plans to add more interviews and discuss men’s mental health.

To listen on Apple Podcast: https://apple.co/3Hb3J7i

To listen on Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3tZ1ekV

For Men To Talk… and Walk on ITV Anglia

Here it is! For Men To Talk… and Walk video shown on ITV Anglia. 

You will see interviews, at Jones’ Café Bar and Jordans Mill, with our founder Luke Newman and a few of the men who were promoting the mental and physical health benefits of walking and talking 

It happened so quickly! ITV Anglia’s ‘On Screen Journalist’ Callum Fairhurst contacted Luke on the Friday, two days before the ‘For Men To Talk… and Walk’ on Sunday 9 January 2022 and asked if himself and Anglia News could interview and film the attendees.

Luke absolutely accepted. We are always looking to publicise ‘For Men To Talk’ and the group meetings, either physical, virtual and the walking events. We want as many men to know that they aren’t alone and people are out there to help.

‘For Men To Talk’ is a Community Interest Company (CIC), a company that has a benefit to the community. In 2020, there were 6.3 millions residents in the East of England region. We know that not all those residents will tune into Anglia News on that specific date and time, but hopefully enough people will see that we are certainly a benefit to those men who attend our meetings and justify our company’s status.

Come Sunday, everything was simple but effective to film. Callum arrived with a microphone, camera, light and tripod in hand and interviewed Luke and Steve Whitney in Jones’ Café Bar about the group and what we are trying to achieve.

We treated the walk like normal, men walking the Biggleswade Green Wheel, a walking and cycling route around the town, passing through areas of landscape, heritage and wildlife interest, talking about how they are feeling and what they are going through. But this time we had an ITV Anglia News cameraman following us!

Half-way through our 90 minute walk, we reached Jordans Mill, with the historic Victorian Mill and Riverside Café, which overlooks the stunning views of the River Ivel, it was the perfect setting for Callum to complete his interviews and filming. The men were so honest on the benefits on not only talking about how they were feeling, but also exercising.

As we walked our final steps of the Green Wheel and reached our final destination of Jones’ Café Bar, the men were extremely proud of themselves, and quite rightly, that they were not only promoting ‘For Men To Talk’ in general, but the message the group brings across, that men are not alone in their mental health journey and that there are other men here to support you. This time, the whole of East Anglia will know about it too!

For the next ‘For Men To Talk… and Walk’ visit http://www.formentotalk.co.uk/fmttwalk/

Shifties 24-hour Speak Up Liveathon

For Men To Talk founder Luke Newman is very proud to be a guest at the Shifties 24-hour Speak Up Liveathon, helping to raise £10,000 for Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire Mind – CPSL Mind.

On January 17th – ‘Blue Monday’ – Luke will be ‘speaking up’ live with Alex Hughes to raise awareness of the importance for people to talk when they are feeling low and need support. Luke will be on at 7:30pm and it would be great if you could support them by tuning in, sharing, and if you can, donating to the cause.

After an extraordinary and incredibly challenging 2020 & 2021, the Speak Up Liveathon aims to change the narrative for what is traditionally known as ‘the most depressing day of the year’. Focussing on stories of resilience and survival for both businesses and individuals to drive a message of hope and positivity for the year ahead.

We are supporting Shifties raise money for CPSL Mind https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/shifties-speakup

You can find out more here: https://shifties.co.uk/speakup/

‘For Men To Talk’ 2 Year Anniversary

My name is Luke Newman and I am the founder and director of ‘For Men To Talk’. Today marks its two-year anniversary of its launch and although it seems to have gone by in a flash, so much has happened.

I have personally suffered for a number of years with grief and anxiety since losing my mother, aged 54, and sister, 44, both to cancer. However, I feel fortunate that I could admit my illness, as sadly a lot of men are not able to do so without the support that a group like ‘For Men To Talk’ provides. 

Having already been through counselling and therapy, I recognised that there weren’t any groups for men to simply talk. This was a major driver in my founding the ‘For Men To Talk two years ago today, giving men who are suffering with anxiety, depression and grief the opportunity to talk with other fellow sufferers about their situation, provide support for each other and improve their well-being. 

Throughout the last two years, with the help of coronavirus, we have been running a hybrid service, both physical and virtual meetings via zoom. In 2021, we have extended our meetings to not only Biggleswade, but also to St.Neots, which allows us to help even more men. In regards to the virtual meetings, men from the other side of the word have been able to join us. The wonders of technology will never cease to amaze me!

From the feedback from the attendees, the men seem to like that the meetings are informal, with no rules, no regulations, no hard questions to answer. The subject could be anything, feelings, worries or even about sport or television, but the comforting thing was that all the men in that physical or virtual room have one thing in common. They are going through troubles, but they want to talk.

It’s also been a chance for men who have finished counselling sessions to continue their journey. A few were saying that although their therapy had been completed and personal growth had been achieved, they wanted to continue talking. The ‘For Men To Talk’ group sessions allows that continuation.

We have been able to welcome experts to join the meetings. They have been able to present and suggest improvements and techniques on improving mental health. Experts have discussed grief, nutrition, exercise and also separation from a partner.

We have also discussed the importance of male cancer awareness and recognising the symptoms. A page is dedicated on the ‘For Men To Talk’ website with downloadable PDF files recognising the symptoms of testicular and prostate cancer. This is an important subject for me, as my father battled and won testicular cancer only thirty-five years ago.

This year has also seen us introduce ‘For Men To Talk… and Walk’, a monthly session which sees us men walk whilst we talk, rather that sitting down! This promotes the mental and physical health benefits of walking and talking.

Finally, this year has seen me achieve something that I have always wanted to do. I have designed, written and self-published a book titled ‘The Mental Health Moles’. Suitable for men, women, boys and girls of all ages. I wrote this book to raise awareness of mental health for men, about For Men To Talk and to raise much needed revenue for our early days of us as a company. I undertook a very successful crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the first print of the book, and they are now sold on Amazon Kindle and print, via market stalls and craft fayres. 

I’m so proud of it. I’m loving hearing feedback to it. The idea of boys and girls reading it and it sparking meaningful conversations within the family around the subject of mental health is exactly what I wanted. The more discussions at a young age about how we are feeling, the better it will be for those youngsters growing up.

I have been approached to talk about the book at local schools, which I will hopefully be able to do in the near future. Especially when I receive messages like this; 

“I teach at a coeducational special school and mental health is a real focus for students and staff. Thought you should know that The Mental Health Moles book is really making an impact in places that you wouldn’t have thought of!”

Over the last two years, we have received donations of over £3,500 to support For Men To Talk from charity events, construction companies and individual donations. I can’t thank them enough in believing in what we are trying to achieve. 

I’d like to thank every single attendee to all 69 meetings that we had in 2021 and the many in 2020. All the men should be applauded for reaching out and talking about how they feel. 

I would also like to that all the support from the public, for the kind words, for recommendations, for sharing social media posts, there is so many ways that you have helped.

To the men, women, boys and girls who have enjoyed ‘The Mental Health Moles’ Book. I hope you found comfort, solutions and understanding in what you are reading.

May I wish you all a safe and merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Here’s to a healthy and safe 2022.

Presentation at Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority

Three times as many men as women die by suicide.

One major concern from the Covid 19 pandemic is the impact it has had on people’s mental health. From isolation to health anxieties and economic uncertainties, the pandemic has had a huge impact on different groups in a variety of ways.

Last week, we welcomed Luke Newman from For Men To Talk, a men’s mental health charity, to help educate the Combined Authority team on men’s mental health challenges and the support available locally. This was a fantastic and passionate presentation and one that got us all talking. Everyone had the opportunity to be open about their own struggles or ask for advice to support others.

Helping men to express their emotions is an important aim and one that Luke and the Combined Authority will continue to promote.

For Men To Talk provides chance for men suffering with anxiety, depression and grief to talk with other fellow sufferers. They offer informal group meetings in person and virtually. Find out more here at https://bit.ly/3pd6tcD

The Samaritans offer a range of ways to get in touch to get support with your mental health. You can read more at https://bit.ly/3I2EHZ2

‘My Anxiety’ – A Poem Written by Luke Newman

I have this thing called anxiety,

And it maybe impossible for others to see,

It comes in flashes when I’m least aware,

And in some cases, leaves me in despair. 

It can make me tremble, 

it can make me sweat,

It can make me scared, 

It can make me fret.

I stay at home, I sometimes walk,

I breathe more calmly, I want to talk,

So I speak to family, I speak to friends, 

Key is to chat and eventually it ends.

The Gym is for your Mental Health not for your Muscles

We’ve all seen those photos on Instagram of men taking selfies in the gym, flexing their biceps in the mirror, claiming they’ve been there for the last two hours, for the fourth time this week! But what does it do for men who maybe overweight, that have low self-esteem of themselves, that want to make that first step into the gym?

Without a shadow of a doubt for some men, the gym can feel like an intimidating place when they’re first starting out. Many feel that it will be full of those muscle men but in reality, there are men of all shapes and sizes, with no egos to boast about.

Perhaps when you are a new beginner, you don’t want to look stupid in front of other people, afraid of showing people that you don’t know what you’re doing and even feel self-conscious about your fitness. But we must remember, every single person has been in that position before. Everyone entered the gym for the first time, everyone was unfit when they started and certainly everyone didn’t know what to do or how to use the equipment at some point. No one will be judgemental; in fact you’ll probably receive praise from others for wanting to improve your fitness, your body and more importantly your mental health.

Like everything in life, the key is to ask for help. When you don’t know the answer, you ask someone for support. To educate yourself, you must ask the questions, to a person, the internet, even your Alexa! In this case, don’t be too embarrassed to ask another gym goer or a staff member for help.

Exercise is extremely important for improving mental health. It reduces anxiety and depression and improves self-esteem. By being more physically fit, it gives more energy and positivity for other aspects of our lives. But it also plays a role in preventing the development of mental health problems.

We, as humans, are constantly comparing ourselves to others, analysing how we’re similar, better, or worse. Not just in the gym, but on social media and other aspects of life. This needs to stop. 

Many men say that going to the gym isn’t only about lifting or exercising. It’s almost a social place where nobody is judging you. It’s a coping mechanism and somewhere where people can go to feel safe. They realise that it’s way more important in the way that you feel, than what your body looks like.

When we engage in moderate levels of exercise, we know we can boost endorphin levels and they can have many positive effects in terms of your health and well-being. By attending the gym, the need to focus on an activity and training can get you to where you want to be both mentally and physically and to be your ‘best self’.

5 Top Clothing Tips to Build Confidence for Men

Since ‘For Men To Talk’ was formed in December 2019, we felt then and still do that it’s time for a mental health revolution and love yourself again. To do that takes a lot of cogs to be aligned and working in the engine. One major cog is having the confidence in the clothing that we wear.

Lisa Talbot is an award winning personal and fashion stylist who believes that the clothes in our wardrobe should reflect our personality, lifestyle and body shape. She loves to help people with their style and start dressing in a way that unleashes their real personality. 

Here are her latest 5 clothing tips to help build confidence for men.

1. Colour is a powerful tool to help us feel confident, select a colour that makes your face appear light, bright and clear. Try a colour such as pastel pink, powder blue or if you love vibrant tones then a cobalt blue, jade green or cerise pink.

2. A great pair of shoes is always a good item to invest in and they can really complete your outfit. Whether you prefer a white trainer or a brogue, a shoe will enhance your look.

3. A blazer will elevate your look and create a super sleek, well polished appearance. A blazer can be incorporated into a jeans, t-shirt and trainer look or if you prefer try a chino, shirt, loafer and pop in the blazer.

4. Great grooming will always create confidence, think clean shaven, a nice trimmed beard, great hair, all of these will make you feel great. Don’t forget to leave home without a splash of aftershave that suits your personality.

5. The perfect fitting jeans are a must for any man’s wardrobe, whether you prefer a skinny, slim or a wider leg having the right fit will create a lovely shape on the lower body, but please no baggy bums please!

If you feel lost with clothing and what may look best for you, Lisa is available for a free, no obligation discovery call to see how she can help you.

https://www.lisatalbot.co.uk

Celebrating One Year as a Community Interest Company (CIC)

My name is Luke Newman and I am the founder and director of ‘For Men To Talk’. On 3 August 2021, it marked the one-year anniversary of myself making it a Community Interest Company (CIC), but not the one-year anniversary of it being founded.

‘For Men To Talk’ is a social enterprise, meaning that as a business it wants to change the world for the better.

A community interest company was introduced by the United Kingdom government in 2005 under the Companies Act 2004. It’s designed for social enterprises that want to use their profits and assets for the public good.

As a ‘CIC’, that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to give a platform for men to talk about how they are feeling and trying to make it normal to do so.

In late December 2019, I set up ‘For Men To Talk’ just as a Facebook group giving men who are suffering with anxiety, depression and grief a chance to talk with other fellow sufferers and improve their well-being. At that point I never thought about making it into a business, let alone a Community Interest Company, I didn’t even know what that was!

It wasn’t until I met an incredible magician, Lee Smith, and Ryan Ferrara, who is a director (and eye-candy) of Snuggeries, who create the most beautiful garden rooms, at a networking meeting. They suggested speaking to Alex Hughes as they believed ‘For Men To Talk’ could become a business. 

Alex is the Founder & CEO of Shifties, based in St.Neots in Cambridgeshire. Shifties is a community for UK micro-business owners to connect, learn and grow together. The group helps support independent business growth with opportunities to network, learn and challenge themselves. 

After contacting Alex, he could see that ‘For Men To Talk’ could become a social enterprise business and make it either a charity or community interest company. But the question was, which one?

The Charity Commission prefers a completely independent, all-volunteer board of trustees and if those trustees aren’t happy with my performance, they can remove me as the director and from ‘For Men To Talk’ completely. Even though I have confidence in my own ability, I couldn’t risk losing something that I had worked so unbelievably hard to build.

So there it was, I formed a CIC and as the founder I can be on the board so that I can maintain control of my creation. Six months later, I added James Dunn, Ian Payne, Justin Leigh and later Steve Whitney as Non-Executive Directors and placed them on the ‘Board of Directors’. 

This is to support myself and fulfil our commitment to be a benefit to the community, with a particular focus on supporting men’s mental health. Adding these gentlemen to the board will help fulfil that objective.

As we now start the second year as a Community Interest Company, my pledge is to continue hosting physical and virtual meetings to allow men to talk about how they are feeling and also highlighting the need for children to be able to be talk openly. This will be through schools and also through ‘The Mental Health Moles’ book which I have designed and written, which details many mental health illnesses, which could help them recognise their symptoms.

To continue and obtain my pledge, the next stage will be looking and applying for grants, donations and other means of funding. 

Our New Non-Executive Director

Today Luke Newman, the founder of ‘For Men To Talk’, is honoured to announce that he has included a new Non-Executive Director who will be placed on the ‘Board of Directors’.

Luke has asked Steve Whitney, the Managing Director of Cromwell Stoves Ltd, Wood Burning and Multi-Fuel Stove Specialists, to help the company in an advisory capacity. Which he has excitedly accepted.

“As a Community Interest Company, ‘For Men To Talk’ has a commitment to be a benefit to the community, with a particular focus on supporting men’s mental health”, said Luke. “To welcome Steve to join James, Ian and Justin on the board will help fulfil that objective.”

“From personal heartache, Steve is passionate about helping men get together and talk to each other about their lives and what help they might need, he will a valuable member of the ‘For Men To Talk’ team,” Luke concluded.

The other Non-Executive Directors are:
James Dunn
who is an advocate of talking and listening about the topic of men’s mental health and has been an attendee of the ‘For Men To Talk’ group meetings since they were founded.

Ian Payne, recognises the importance of communication and counselling from his own mental health experiences, as well as the experience of others. He is a strong advocate of looking after ourselves both physically and mentally.

Justin Leigh is a highly experienced Business Leader & Executive Coach with over twenty-five years’ experience in sales and leadership. Justin has founded the Cambridgeshire branch of a charitable group ‘Walk & Talk 4 Men’. Just is a passionate supporter of men’s mental health and is proud to help men find the help they need, when they need it.