Since February, SLRA’s Men’s Group have got together online every Wednesday. Around seven attendees meet up each week and we have quickly grown as a supportive unit!
Some of the men who were part of a previous Men’s Group shared their past experiences with the new members at the beginning of the first session. Since it is not easy to start a community space online without meeting in person first, their positive stories were really helpful and thought-provoking.
Wednesday’s session included a variety of exciting topics and talking points. In one of the previous sessions, the group spoke about what it felt like to be a migrant man in the UK today and how their experiences have shaped them as a person. Another session, for example, was about sleep as many of the men struggle with their sleeping patterns, so we all shared tips on what helps us relax and drift off!
The goal for the group is to offer a community space where migrant men can share their experiences, strength, and recourses with each other because such a space scarcely exists for them. However, over the last three months, the group has become so much more than just a community space. It now exists as an incredible resource for everyone involved to support each other, to listen and to be listened to, and to simply have a good time together!
The latest sessions have been around fitness and health with the support of Fitness Trainer, Anjalee. In the first session, they discussed the importance of fitness and then did a workout together online. The following session explained the benefits of healthy eating and how to achieve this on a regular basis. From the positive feedback that SLRA has received, the group is really enjoying these sessions!
Overall, the group activities have been a productive learning experience for all involved. As we needed to adapt the fitness workout or the session around eating healthy to the current living situations of the men, which are often too cramped to practice proper home-workouts, and some of the men even live without having a kitchen to cook healthy meals for themselves.
However, we quickly overcame many obstacles after discussing each member’s current limitations and how we can overcome them. Next week, everyone will attend an individual check-in with Angeli, who will then create a fitness and health plan tailored to each individual’s situation.
In future sessions, the group wants to meet in a park with Angeli to do a fitness workout together. But before taking part in additional fitness programs together, the group is planning a celebration where they can finally meet in person. We are already in the process of brainstorming ideas and creating games for this event!
One challenge remains: finding the perfect name for their lovely group, but we are sure that they will find a solution soon.
Our men’s group is facilitated by our great colleagues Waleed (Adult & Family Caseworker) and Sarah (SLRA counsellor).
Blog Entry by our intern Lisa.