Let’s Talk About You

How are You? Out of 10?

Simple questions with big meaning put to my attendees at Monday’s night’s brilliant Yoga For Men’s Health event in Keynsham, Bristol.

I was delighted to be joined by Talk Club – a Bristol-based charity that definitely ‘walks the talk’ in demonstrating the positive impact they are having on men’s lives – in the U.K., and around the world.

Talk Club and YogaDad share a similar ethos. We are both creating a safe space for men to come together in their local communities. A space in which men can be comfortable about expressing themselves in a way that they wouldn’t ordinarily do – and without judgment. Creating a positive, supportive environment that accepts men for who they are, and not what society expects of them.

Out of darkness comes light

The story of how Talk Club was founded is as heartbreaking as it is inspiring. One of Talk Club’s founders, Ben Akers, lost his childhood best friend, Steve Yates to suicide in 2014. From the darkness of Steve’s tragic death came light. Initially, in the form of Ben’s award winning documentary, ‘Steve’, on male mental health, with Talk Club becoming a legacy of that project.

Walking the talk

The concept of Talk Club is a simple one. Weekly or monthly events that are free to sign up for and attend The talk being led by a ‘Captain’ who asks four simple questions framed around mental fitness. Note the subtle change in language from mental health – I think it’s a brilliant way to convey to a male group that the aim is to be mentally fit, in a way that we associate with being physically fit.

By creating safe and confidential spaces across the U.K and beyond means that men are encouraged to open up about their thoughts, feelings, worries, and all the positive stuff, too!. I know all too well how difficult it is for me to open up about how I’m feeling, firmly believing that I can solve all problems on my own, with my competitive, stubborn nature kicking in for good measure. As a result, I’m fully supportive of Talk Club’s ambitions to provide a platform for men to meet regularly to talk, and listen to each other, empowering men to set up their own Talk Club anywhere in the world.

Free to talk

Monday night’s free talk and Q & A in Keynsham may have only been 30 minutes, but its impact will have a lasting effect. Not least because I, and hopefully others that attended the talk will sign up to a Talk Club event and and experience first-hand the positive impact Talk Club is having on men’s lives.

Equally, I loved being able to offer Yoga For Men classes either side of Talk Club’s talk. There are so many synergies between the mental and physical fitness benefits of coming together in this way. All profits from my Yoga For Men classes on Monday night will be donated to support Talk Club’s work. The guys from Talk Club enjoyed the yoga, and I can’t wait to see where we can take this partnership.

Support Talk Club’s cause

If you would to learn more about Talk Club, I highly recommend you watch Ben Aker’s Ted Talk from Tunbridge Wells. If that doesn’t tug on your heart strings, I don’t know what will. As Talk Club is a charity, any donations, large or small, will enable Talk Club to continue doing what they do best – leading a behaviour changing movement that is saving and changing men’s lives for the better.