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    Our Connected Vision


    In April 2021, 1 year into CV19, having ramped up our support for the community through online “Can we talk” sessions it became glaringly obvious that so many existing inequalities were not only highlighted but exacerbated. Research within our own community aligned with findings such as the ones below : “One in five people in England struggle to access a private garden, public park or open field, according to analysis which suggests millions of people live in nature-deprived areas” “Black, asian and ethnic minorities (BAME) are some of the worst affected, with those communities more than twice as likely to struggle to find green space compared to their white counterparts” “Only 1% of visitors to UK national parks come from BAME backgrounds” despite some 42% of people from those backgrounds living in England’s most green space-deprived neighbourhoods, compared to 20% of white people” sources: Natural England report We found that this was powerfully reflected in the lived experience of so many of our community. Despite us living in close proximity to one of the most beautiful, and the most visited, National Parks in the Country, some of our ethnic minority members had never visited. “As an immigrant, especially when I was young, I felt I didn’t belong in nature or the countryside. I didn’t know where to go, what’s allowed or not and I couldn’t see anyone else that looked like me going to nature” “I thought going for a walk was only something that old white people did. I didn’t want to look stupid so I never went until someone took me and changed my mind in 2014. This was accidental as at the time my partner and her family were the usual suspects (white British middle class) and frequent visitors of nature. Slowly this helped shift my mindset” “None of my friends in the past went on nature walks, neither were my parents. They have never taken me to the peak district.” Meanwhile, the evidence base for the benefits of time spent in green spaces and the impact on men's Physical and Mental well being keeps accumulating, as do the consequences of lack of access which have only been highlighted during lockdown . “People with good access to the natural environment are 22 per cent more likely to be physically active, while those spending two hours or more in nature each week report better mental health and wellbeing” Natural England This fact is also something that is and continues to be testified to in the lived experience of the men attending Men Up North sessions and groups. “For many of us lockdown exposed just how critical quality outdoor space is for our health and wellbeing” Dave We felt that we needed to try and deliver on our mission and redress the balance so following consultations with our community through what could be improved, conducting interviews and co-creating with the members & trustees what the future looks like for us as a community, we developed a plan . 


    Innovate activities which actually engage and excite the community, co-production activities with the community. - Actively be aware of the 6 barriers and take steps to minimise it. "Recent Sport England research identifies six barriers to participation in outdoor activities for people from an ethnic minority background: language, awareness, safety, culture, confidence and perception of middle-class stigma." Sport England


    Inspire & train BAME community and nature connection leaders to create a ripple effect of impact to their family and communities. - Focus our energies to help develop better self-aware, socially and ecologically aware men, nurturing a better functioning way of being. " … with only around 1% of summer mountain leaders and rock-climbing instructors in the UK from ethnic minorities." We are building on our learnings since 2017 intending to create a space in nature which is accessible, diverse and aware of the need for innovation to respond to the constant change of the world. A space where nature and technology can go hand in hand to support each other. Exploring questions like: In the future, how do we engage those that are digital natives and excluded? How can enterprising activities help with sustainability and provide opportunities of employment? Where did this come from? In 2017, due to 3 of our founder’s male friends died by suicide in the same year and he wanted to do something about it. We started with the question: what does a safe space look and feel like for men so we can take off the armour or masks that men wear in society? A space that men can feel safe to share authentically. A space of non-judgement. A space of acceptance no matter what your skin colour is, where they were born or economic backgrounds. A space of creativity where we share evidenced based methodologies. A space to help men raise their level of self-awareness. A space of learning and experimentation to create a framework of a safe space where men can be vulnerable, authentic and feel belonging in a community. We’ve been consistent with our support and regularly oversubscribed. Through our continuous learning mindset & creativity we feel like we are achieving our mission So far, we’ve engaged over 2500 men in activities, and over 6000 people in conversations of masculinity, men’s mental health and created a variety of different projects.We’ve utilised tools and techniques from Positive Psychology, Acceptance Commitment Therapy & developed ‘ men’s safe space conversations’ methodology that guarantees to get men who are strangers to be open and vulnerable within the 3 hours session, and this is what we’re building on. If this aligns with you, join and support our new vision towards a fairer sustainable future.