East Anglia Scale Trail Huge Success to ‘For Men To Talk’

Doing something you enjoy is extremely important to your mental health, it is a great way to spend your spare time and unwind from your daily routine. Especially in the financial crisis that we are currently in and perhaps the way it is going to go too.

Spending time on an activity that you enjoy can improve your mental health and wellbeing. Research shows that people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from stress, low mood, and depression. Group activities like team sports can improve your communication skills and relationships with others.

Paul Baker from East Anglia Scale Trail contacted ‘For Men To Talk’ a few weeks ago and confirmed that EAST were putting on a remote control car event. After researching local mental health groups in the area, Paul recognised the work that we are doing and wanted to use the event to kindly donate all the profits to us.

EAST held a family event at Tixover Quarry in Stamford on Sunday 26 June 2022, a 70-acre disused sandstone quarry. It’s set in the lovely rolling countryside of the Northants and Leicestershire border close to Stamford, Corby, Leicester and Peterborough.

The Tixover site is widely renowned to be one of the UK’s leading off-road sites, which it is ideal for remote control cars. It has impressive terrain such as steep hills and descents, technical training section, visual displays, mud and water, slopes and wading sections.

‘For Men To Talk’ asked for feedback from the participates on what the event meant to them and in some cases, for their mental health. Some of them included:

“Getting out with friends. Having a good laugh. Enjoying the outdoors. Meeting new people who enjoy the same hobby and interests.”

“Meeting old friends, making new friends. Having a laugh with what we are doing. Drinking coffee, chatting, bashing, crawling. It was a great day and a stress reliever.  As men, we do suffer and it’s great to talk about them. I had a really dramatic couple of years and I’m very thankful to those friends for listening to me.”

“Care free walking and talking with friends new and old, while playing with the toys we built. One of the best ways for me to unwind from daily life.”

“I nearly didn’t turn up, I just didn’t think I could deal with everyone. I had a bad week due to the stress of work and family and with the lack of sleep, it all just got too much. I plucked up the courage to attend and I’m so glad that I did. I received a huge cuddle from my friend Sean, which made me emotional but so happy and it made me realise that I need to be with the right people and talk about how I’m feeling when I’m feeling low.”

East Anglia Scale Trail raised an incredible total of £1,000 for ‘For Men To Talk’ and we can’t thank them all enough for their kind donation.

For Men To Talk reaches 700 Attendees so far in 2022

It’s the end of June. That means that we are half way through 2022 already! Where has that gone?

‘For Men To Talk’ has had an incredible first half of the year. We are going from strength to strength in attendance at our meetings and the feedback from the men is that they are finding them so important in their mental health journeys.

In January 2022, we welcomed ITV Anglia News and reporter Callum Fairhurst to the ‘For Men To Talk… and Walk’ meeting. Callum interviewed our founder, Luke Newman, and some of the attendees, on how the meetings help them. It was broadcasted as a news bulletin on television, as well as on their website.

In March 2022, we received our very first significant financial funding. The Heads-Up community campaign, helping men get happy and stay happy, which is part of BLMK ICS NHS England Suicide Prevention Funding, had seen and believed in the work that we had being doing over the last two years and donated funds to help us with their core task.

In May 2022, Luke visited Kenya, for the seventh time, on a humanitarian trip to one of the poorest suburbs of Nakuru in Kenya, helping to build a new kitchen and double-storey classroom.  This year he took his book titled ‘The Mental Health Moles, which he designed, wrote and self-published last year.

“During a break, I took the eldest class in the school and talked to them about the importance of talking to family, friends or teachers about how they are feeling, especially if they were feeling low,” said Luke. “They all shared copies of my book and together they read a few of the chapters out loud. It was a beautiful and humbling moment. From the feedback that I had from the children later that day they got a lot from the book and discussion.”

In June 2022, BBC Three Counties Radio, the local station that serves the counties of Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, announced that Luke had kindly been nominated and now shortlisted with just three other people in the ‘Volunteer Category’ at the 2022 ‘Make A Difference Awards’. The winner of this and the other seven categories will be announced at an award ceremony on Thursday 22 September at the Grove Theatre in Dunstable

More importantly, now we have reached the second half of 2022, we have had 53 virtual, physical and walking meetings so far this year, which have attracted 701 attendees in total. That’s 53 opportunities for men to talk about how they are feeling and take big steps in improving their mental heath. What an incredible amount . Every man, no matter if they’ve attended once or numerous times, should be extremely proud of themselves. It takes a lot of courage for a man to open up and 701 times someone has done just that. Superb.

Let’s hope more and more men do so in the second half of the year.


Details on the ‘For Men To Talk’ Meetings 

• 1 x Virtual Group Meeting per week. These are held every Wednesday, starting at 6pm.

• 2 x Physical Group Meetings per month at The Crown Hotel (Wetherspoon) in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire. These are held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday every month, starting at 6pm.

• 1 x Physical Group Meeting per month at St Neots Golf Club in Cambridgeshire. These are held on the 1st Tuesday every month, starting at 6pm.

• 1 x Physical Group Meeting per month at The Cambridge Belfry in Cambourne, Cambridgeshire. These are held on the 3rd Tuesday every month, starting at 6pm.

• 1 x Group ‘For Men To Talk… and Walk’ per month. These are held on the 2nd Sunday every month at 9.15am. starting from Jones’ Cafe in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire .

‘For Men To Talk’ raises awareness of mental health by:   

• Encouraging men to undertake the four pillars of wellbeing, which are sleep, exercise, stress management and nutrition, to improve mental health.   

• Posting daily supportive social media quotes accompanied by a photo. This is designed to motivate and maintain positive mental health.   

• Providing safe, supportive and confidential environments where men can talk freely about their mental health illness.   

• Providing information recognising the symptoms of male cancers.   

• Keep the ‘For Men To Talk’ website updated, with continual updates. This includes blogs discussing various issues of mental health for men.   

For further information on all of the above, please contact ‘For Men To Talk’ on formentotalk@hotmail.com or via 07709 446480.

For Men To Talk attendees taking part in the Virtual London Marathon 2022

One of the most important things of being fit, is that it relieves stress and eliminates depression. It’s something that is discussed frequently in our ‘For Men To Talk’ meetings, both virtually and physically.

With that in mind, the ‘For Men To Talk’ founder Luke Newman has been looking for an opportunity for the men in the group to work towards something.

In 2013, Luke ran the London Marathon in aid of Ovacome, an Ovarian Cancer Support Charity, in memory of his Mum, who he lost 17 years ago. He was able to raise £6000 thanks to some very kind donations.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the London Marathon has moved to October and also introduced a virtual event for those who don’t get a place through the ballot or charity place. This means that there is an opportunity to complete the 26 miles and 385 yards (42.195 kilometres) distance from home.

You can do it with friends or on your own, in stages or all at once, just as long as the distance is completed at any time from 00:00 to 23:59:59 (24 hours) on Sunday 2 October 2022, the same day as the mass event in London.

After putting the idea to the attendees of ‘For Men To Talk’, eight have signed up to do it! A 12-week plan, leading to the big walk! It’s the incentive many of the men need to get fit and improve their mental health. It will improve self-perception and self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and it reduce stress, anxiety and fatigue.

At the same time, they will raise money which will go towards helping more men at ‘For Men To Talk’. So we wish all the good luck and thanks to Luke Newman, James Dunn, Phillip Pratt, Jonathan Gorman, Ben Jarvis, Nick Stewart, Julian Treves-Brown and Michael Thorn.

For more information and to donate, pease head to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/FMTTLM

‘For Men To Talk’ founder shortlisted for an award

This week, I had an amazing phone call and confirmation email from BBC Three Counties Radio, the local station that serves the counties of Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

I’ve been a huge fan of BBC Three Counties for a long, long time. I like that they focus on local communities through a mixture of speech, music, sport and debates. 

The station has been a big supporter of my initiatives, such as my humanitarian trips to Kenya and obviously ‘For Men To Talk’ for many years. I’ve been in the Dunstable studio a few times, as well as talking via telephone, to presenters such as Nick Coffer, Roberto Perrone and Babs Michel.

The BBC’s ‘Make A Difference’ awards was first set up at the start of the first pandemic lockdown and is a virtual notice board for those offering help and those needing support. It’s to recognise remarkable people, marking their achievements and contributions to lives in their communities.

To date, the BBC says over 8 Million people have interacted across all 39 local BBC radio stations, that collectively cover all of England, Jersey and Guernsey.

Categories cover the unsung heroes of every community from great neighbours, inspirational teachers, awesome volunteers or even outstanding key workers.

A member of the BBC Three Counties Radio team contacted me and announced that someone had kindly nominated for an award. So, I’m extremely humbled to announce that as the founder of ‘For Men To Talk’ and the author of ‘The Mental Health Moles’, I have been shortlisted with just three other people in the ‘Volunteer Category’ at the 2022 ‘Make A Difference Awards’.

The Volunteer Award is given to an individual who makes a real difference to the community by giving up their time voluntarily to help out a charity or good cause. The winner of this and the other seven categories will be announced at an award ceremony on Thursday 22 September at the Grove Theatre in Dunstable, that I have been invited to.

I formed ‘For Men To Talk’ back in December 2019 and for two and a half years, I’ve worked extremely hard to publicise the group in what I am trying to achieve. For men not to feel alone in their mental health journeys and that the meetings are a safe and comfortable environment for them to be open and talk about how they are feeling. 

Just to be shortlisted is a testimony to every single man who have attended our meetings, no matter if they come regularly or just the once and I am so proud and honoured of myself and them on what we have achieved so far. To win would be incredible and a further statement to ‘Get More Men Talking’.


‘The Mental Health Moles’ is a book discussing mental health topics, such as anxiety, depression, grief, social media, stress, sleep and many more. https://linktr.ee/mhmoles. Ideal for men, women, boys and girls, see why It’s sparking conversations for families about mental health.

‘For Men To Talk’. A chance for men suffering with anxiety, depression and grief to talk with other fellow sufferers. https://linktr.ee/formentotalk

Evaluating the 2022 Humanitarian Trip and looking forward to 2023

Thank you for following my humanitarian trip to Nakuru in Kenya with Derby County Community Trust and African Adventures. It was again a massive success. We were able to achieve the following at West End Academy: 

  • Relocated and built new kitchen  
  • Installed sink with running water into the kitchen  
  • Dug out footings, laid floor and began to build new two storey classroom  
  • Painted interior of three classrooms  
  • Built and installed new playground equipment for the school  
  • Donated sports playground equipment  
  • Bought new cups, bowls and spoons for students at lunchtime  
  • Provided the school cook with new cooking utensils  
  • Taught in classrooms, sharing knowledge with teachers  
  • Provided paint and clay, and demonstrated how these can be used with teachers and pupils  
  • Provided teachers packs of stationery for the classroom  
  • Each child received a backpack, full new outfit, pencil case filled with stationery and two cuddly toys 
  • Pupils in need of new footwear received shoes or trainers  
  • Visited five children’s homes and provided them with essential food items for the home  
  • Bought ingredients and cooked a meal for pupils, staff and builders  
  • Left behind water colour paints and brushes to support older pupils with skills in preparation for exams 
  • Gave sewing threads, needles and material to director for enrichment opportunity for older pupils  
  • Donated a small sample of reading books to keep at school with the prospect of having a school library next year  
  • Discussions held with a minister of education of next steps for the school  
  • Made positive and lasting relationships with the school staff and its pupils 
  • I personally shared my book ‘The Mental Health Moles’ about promoting and supporting mental health. 

Here is the story of West End Academy’s kitchen from start to finish.

Thanks to a GoFundMe campaign, I took 50 copies of The Mental Health Moles with me. Here are some photos, as well as two Kenyan schoolchildren reading the book and understanding mental health a little more.

I will be returning in May 2023 for my eighth trip and have to raise over £2500. Every volunteer has to raise that amount to cover costs such as flights and accommodation, but also for the equipment and supplies whilst we are there. A portion also goes to the disability programme at Derby County Community Trust. To donate, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/NewmanLucas2023

If you are interested in volunteering in 2023, please visit: https://www.derbycountycommunitytrust.com/fundraising-and-events/rams-kenya

Seventh Humanitarian Trip in Kenya is Huge Success

‘For Men To Talk’ founder, Luke Newman, has returned home from Kenya where he helped build a better future for children living in a deprived environment. Luke, 41, has visited Nakuru, 85 miles north of the capital city, Nairobi, six times previously, but this being his first time since 2019, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After heading to the Rhonda slums of the city, Luke visited West End Academy with other volunteers from Derby County Community Trust, including his Dad, Steve, from Gamlingay and brother Paul, formerly of Sandy, and his nephews Max and Fynn.

In two weeks, the team were able to help dismantle an old kitchen and design and construct a new one to help with the feeding programme in the school. This is extremely important, as for some children, this is the only meal that they will have that day.

They were also able to build a playground, with swings, and help with the start of constructing a double storey classroom.

Luke is the founder of ‘For Men To Talk’, which gives men with a mental health illness, such as anxiety, grief and depression a chance to talk with fellow sufferers and last year he designed, wrote and self-published a book titled ‘The Mental Health Moles’.

“During a break, I took the eldest class and talked to them about the importance of talking to family, friends or teachers about how they are feeling, especially if they were feeling low,” said Luke. “They all shared copies of my book and together they read a few of the chapters out loud. It was a beautiful and humbling moment. From the feedback that I had from the children later that day they got a lot from the book and discussion.”

The team also visited five homes of some of the school children and witnessed the tough conditions, such as no electricity and no clean water, that they live with on a daily basis. Many children, some under the age of 5, walk for over an hour to the school everyday to get a good education. Many of them have five or six people living in a 8 foot by 8 foot mud hut, with a single bed.

Having to raise over £2000 every year is extremely tough and Luke thanks all those who have contributed to that amount, especially Matthew Eden and Jim Eden from Eden Tyres & Servicing for sponsoring his shirt.

Luke has written a day-to-day blog on his trip and can read on the ‘For Men To Talk’ website at http://www.formentotalk.co.uk/our-founder-in-kenya-2022/

Derby County Community Trust are just one of a number of groups that partner with over 20 schools in developing areas of Ghana, Kenya and Zanzibar with African Adventures and will be returning to Kenya in 2023. For more information, please visit https://www.derbycountycommunitytrust.com/fundraising-and-events/rams-kenya

‘For Men To Talk’ encourages men to talk about mental health

By ITV Anglia’s Callum Fairhurst

A group of men facing mental health issues or grief say meeting up to talk about what they are going through has helped them to deal with their own difficult situations.

The group was set up by Luke Newman, who became depressed and anxious after the death of his mum and sister from cancer.

He had already benefitted from speaking to others and decided to find a group he called simply For Men to Talk.

And the Bedfordshire-based group does what it says – offering a chance for men to meet up weekly online to talk, but once a month they also come together to have a walk and chat in person.

Some of those that take part say it has been a saving grace.

Mr Newman, founder of the group, said: “Not only do we talk about how we’re feeling, but we also talk about movies, TV, football, and have a few dad jokes as well.

“It improves our mental health. We start off with a cup of tea, go for a walk for an hour and half, have another tea and a cake and go on our merry way and hopefully feel better.”

And many people that join the sessions say they are a huge help, among them Steve Whitney, whose son took his own life in February 2020.

He said: “I went initially to establish where I was with my own mental health. I didn’t know whether I was coping well with my son’s death or if I was hiding behind myself.

“There are times when we’re very low, and they’re the times we get in deep and help each other.”

That spirit of camaraderie is what the group promotes to help others get through their toughest times.

Their main message is that whoever you are “there are people out there that will listen – don’t be afraid to talk”.

East Anglia Scale Trail Donating to For Men To Talk

Absolutely delighted to announce that the East Anglia Scale Trail will be holding a family event at Tixover Quarry in Stamford on Sunday 26 June 2022 and will be kindly donating all profits to ‘For Men To Talk’.

For more information, please visit https://bit.ly/FMTTEAST

A family event to raise money & awareness of men’s mental health in association with:

  • GCRC
  • Tomley RC
  • G-Speed
  • RCMHAP

The East Anglia Scale Trail will be held at Tixover Quarry which is a 70-acre disused sandstone quarry. It’s set in the lovely rolling countryside of the Northants and Leicestershire border close to Stamford, Corby, Leicester and Peterborough with the A1 only 2 miles away.

The Tixover site is widely renowned to be one of the UK’s leading off-road sites, with impressive terrain such as:

  • Steep hills and descents
  • Technical training sections
  • Visual displays
  • Mud and water
  • Differing terrain
  • Side slopes a
  • Wading sections

There will be gated trails through the wooded areas, scale trails around the small pond and an area set out for some faster RC’s.

Other details:

  • The King of Mallets will be making an appearance.
  • G-Speed sponsored competition for classes 1, 2 & 3. With prizes from G-Speed, GCRC, Tomley RC.
  • Toilet facilities
  • Refreshments
  • Accommodate 75-100 vehicles in the parking area
  • A campsite within a few miles is available

Tickets:

You can purchase the tickets from https://bit.ly/FMTTEASTT

  • Adult £15
  • Child £5 (under 16’s)
  • Family £35 (2 adult & 2 kids)

Mental Health Awareness Week

Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week and although we believe that everyone should be aware of theirs and other peoples mental health all year round, we thought it would be a good idea to reintroduce ‘For Men To Talk’ and what we bring to men locally.

The Mental Health Foundation campaign this year focuses on loneliness, with the hashtag #IveBeenThere. It will hopefully give a chance for us all to share our experiences and feel a little less alone with our thoughts.

About For Men To Talk

‘For Men To Talk’ is a Community Interest Company, a non-charitable limited company, which means that we provide a benefit to the community and report back on this every year to Companies House.

About the Founder   

Luke Newman lives in Potton, Bedfordshire. He has personally suffered for a number of years with grief and anxiety since losing his mother, aged 54, and sister, 44, both to cancer. However, he feels fortunate that he 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, Luke recognised that there weren’t any groups for men to simply talk. This was a major driver in him founding the ‘For Men To Talk in December 2019, 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.    

They started with just one group, face-to-face and now have an average total of 15 men attending per meeting, which of course went virtual during the pandemic.  

As things are returning to normal, ‘For Men To Talk’ meetings remain virtually every Wednesday as well as back to physical meetings. 

Meetings 

• 1 x Virtual Group Meeting per week

• 2 x Physical Group Meetings per month at The Crown Hotel (Wetherspoon) in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire  

• 1 x Physical Group Meeting per month at St Neots Golf Club in Cambridgeshire

• 1 x Physical Group Meeting per month at The Cambridge Belfry in Cambourne, Cambridgeshire

• 1 x Group ‘For Men To Talk… and Walk’ per month. Starting at Jones’ Cafe in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire  

Awareness

‘For Men To Talk’ raises awareness of mental health by:   

• Encouraging men to undertake the four pillars of wellbeing, which are sleep, exercise, stress management and nutrition, to improve mental health.   

• Posting daily supportive social media quotes accompanied by a photo. This is designed to motivate and maintain positive mental health.   

• Providing safe, supportive and confidential environments where men can talk freely about their mental health illness.   

• Providing information recognising the symptoms of male cancers.   

• Keep the ‘For Men To Talk’ website updated, with continual updates. This includes blogs discussing various issues of mental health for men.   

The Mental Health Moles Book   

Luke Newman has designed, written and self-published a book titled ‘The Mental Health Moles’, which is suitable for men, women, boys and girls of all ages. He 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 the CIC. He 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. He has also been approached to talk about the book at local schools. All profits go to ‘For Men To Talk’.   

Recently, ‘For Men To Talk’ has received financial funding from The Heads-Up community grant fund which is part of BLMK ICS NHS England Suicide Prevention Funding. See https://bbc.in/3Np6Rjt for further information

For further information on all of the above, please contact ‘For Men To Talk’ on formentotalk@hotmail.com or via 07709 446480.

Can you help get ‘The Mental Health Moles’ to children in Kenya?

‘For Men To Talk’ founder Luke Newman returns for his 7th trip to Nakuru in Kenya volunteering with Derby County Community Trust & African Adventures in May 2022.

With living in a deprived environment, with no clean water and electricity and little food and water, it must be a huge burden on mental health.

Valentine, founder and headteacher at West End Destiny Academy is asking for books. Luke would like to take 50 copies of his book ‘The Mental Health Moles‘ to try and comfort the young children of ‘West End Academy’. That’s just £3 per book!

The book sees the moles have 52 discussions, filled with advice about mental health topics, such as anxiety, depression, grief, social media, stress, sleep and many more. They are accompanied with brightly coloured and boldly drawn illustrations.

To do that, he needs to raise £150 for the print of the books. Are you able to help him reach that total? If so, please donate at: Fundraiser by Luke Newman : ‘The Mental Health Moles’ for children in Kenya

Click here to read all his blogs from his previous visits to Kenya or see his YouTube video below.