On my weekly brisk walk I come across a boarded up pub, well it wasn’t just a pub, one of these many social clubs that often attracted men to connect, socialise and enjoy. Like many such establishments, your everyday places where men could go and have a drink, laugh, play games etc are disappearing, however we have a growing number of older people, including men – so the community ‘assets’ they used to use have gone, and the numbers of older men have increased. What has replaced them (Pubs etc)? In some places fancy apartments/housing, restaurants, maybe community/health centres or retail. You could argue we need all of them, but what about the men who used to frequent them? I remember as a child my Dad was a member of such a club, my father-in-law is still, and we would sometimes go down, I’d have a bag of crisps and was probably bored, but for them it was a part of life, fabric, society – a safe space for them.
Community asset transfer
Yes, there are programmes around like more than a pub fund which have proved vital for some communities, but have there been any examples of a community asset transferred for the benefit of lonely older men first? The issue is probably around inclusion, which is very important, but what about the older men who want male company, they are part of society as well. Can we maybe use a ‘pilot’ looking to how we can ‘transfer’ some of these ‘assets’ that the main beneficiary is the lonely older man, because let’s not forgot by doing this as a society we do benefit other groups – eg their carers who are often female.
Call to Action
Community Men2Men Buddying would love to be part of this, and this blog is partly a call to action. We have been able to set-up CM2M and employ male buddies and still meet equalities legislation through the genuine occupational requirement so there must be way, surely?
Any views or collaborators in this area contact Chris Hill firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07840584296