Who says men don’t care?

Learning from each other

ManMade in Birmingham, is a six-week peer support programme.

It brings men together under one roof to discuss stuff that affects them. It gives them the chance to understand why they are the way they are and what changes they could make in their lives to make it better for them.

Some of what is learnt comes from the information provided by the facilitators. However, most of the learning comes from the men themselves. This is because they have the opportunity to discuss their own lives. A time to talk about a range of challenges including identity, mental health, physical health, wellbeing, loss and even death.

Which men?

ManMade leaders have worked with a range of organisations to work with men most vulnerable when it comes to mental health and poor wellbeing. This has included unemployed men, men in recovery, men experiencing loss, men in prison and most recently, men who are carers.

Working with men who care

Caring is often seen by many in society as a ‘female’ issue but it is something that affects a large number of men too, in fact, the last census in 2011 found that in England and Wales nearly 2.5 million men were providing unpaid care for a friend or family member due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction.

A more recent study by the Carers trust highlighted that 56% of the Carers they talked to provided 60 plus hours of care per week.

So, in 2018, ManMade facilitators teamed up with Home Group in Birmingham to work with some of the male carers who receive support from this specialist organisation supporting carers across the UK.

Of the 10 men that attended throughout the programme, it was clear that male Carers definitely felt benefit from the ManMade approach in discussing subjects often avoided by men.

This is what some of the chaps told us about their ManMade experience:

“I enjoyed the course, it was easy to keep up with and was really interesting.”

“This is a great programme. A real eye opener into men’s lives and mental health.”

“A good experience. Very positive. A variety of subjects covered in a relaxed manner.”

“The ManMade approach allows conversations to flow without strictly sticking to an agenda.”

“I found listening to the point of views and different perspectives on such sensitive topics that do relate to me very useful.”

“We weren’t talked down to or just handed a lot of written material. Instead we were encouraged to talk and share our opinions on these topics.”



Get In touch

If you want to hear more about our work at Common Unity then please get in touch with us >>>> https://www.common-unity.org/contact/

Connecting Community Networks, the ManMade Programme

As part of the Connecting Community Networks, the ManMade Programme was introduced at Better Pathways in Birmingham. 7 men in total attended the programme which supports men to openly discuss a range of areas that men wouldn’t traditionally feel comfortable discussing.

This peer support programme looks at mental health, wellbeing, physical health, personal identity, grief and loss as well as assisting the life of others. A ManMade programme is also being delivered at Cruse Bereavement Care Birmingham for men who are dealing with loss. For more information about ManMade, email info@manmade.org.uk

ManMade Family

An Evaluation of the ManMade Family Programme May 2016


The ManMade Family programme supported men to be able to talk more openly about their emotions, to build their confidence and self-esteem, to know where to go for help and to support others in the community.

This was achieved through an eight-week workshop programme which included peer discussion, information sharing and self-reflection on a range of health and wellbeing topics, underpinned by person centred facilitation approaches.

This report presents the independent findings from the ManMade Family Programme, delivered in Sandwell from February – March 2016.

ManMade is an eight week programme of workshop sessions designed to support and empower unemployed men to take care of their own mental health and wellbeing.

It was developed by Forward for Life and Common Unity in response to high levels of poor male mental health and suicide, associated with gender identity.

Five men took part in this programme, which was more explicitly focused on supporting men with caring responsibilities.

Download the document here: Man Made Family Evaluation Final 060516

More information about ManMade?

To hear more about this programme and the other work we do then get in touch with us at Common Unity

Cruse Birmingham joins ManMade


Are you a man struggling to cope because of a recent bereavement in your life or one in your past?

How do you cope and get through this difficult time in your life?

One option is to attend the ManMade Cruse group in Birmingham. It’s for men who have experienced bereavement and feel lost as how to deal with it. The group has a course structure and runs for 6 sessions starting on the 12th of September 2016 – Time 5:30PM – 7:30PM.

Initially, you learn more about grieving and what it actually is. With new understanding of what you are dealing with, you have a greater awareness of what you need to do to get through it. There will be plenty of time and opportunity to talk about your bereavement and what your struggles are. However there is no requirement to divulge if you feel uncomfortable, you can engage as little – or as much as you like.

Download the ccn flyer cruse updated

ManMade Through The Gates


Suicide and Criminal Justice
Prison suicides in England and Wales have risen to the highest level for seven years with 82 prisoners taking their own lives last year, according to new figures.

For the year 2016/2017, The NHS Joint Commissioning Team for Mental Health in Birmingham has invested in a number of one-year pilot programmes that aim to promote wellbeing, improve quality of life and life opportunities for those most vulnerable in Birmingham. This work, being managed as a whole by Common Unity, comes under the umbrella name of Connecting Community Networks being an accepted, locally designed framework that oversees the delivery of much needed holistic services that has real, evidenced based wellbeing benefits to the most vulnerable sectors within our city.

Funding for the delivery of a 6-week Peer Support Based ManMade Programme within the criminal justice sector has been realised with HMP Birmingham being the focus for such a pilot using key elements of the tested and evaluated ManMade Programme implemented to date in Sandwell and Dudley. The ManMade Programme for Criminal Justice, utilising Associates who have delivered ManMade to date and a Community Development Worker, will look to work closely alongside existent service provision within HMP Birmingham including HealthCare and CRC delivery agents, to best support prisoners who are soon to be released back into the community. The proposed cohort is a maximum of 15 participants with anticipated delivery being November – December 2016 for a period of 6 weeks (2 hours per session).

Overarching Aims:

  • Increase resilience and wellbeing over the period of implementation.
  • Reduce the suicide risk on release from prison.

The programme will look to achieve this through:

  • Providing a safe and supportive space for delegates to express feelings and learn about mental health and wellbeing
  • Empowering men to better understand themselves and their own mental health and wellbeing.
  • Equipping men with the skills, tools, information and options to manage their mental health and wellbeing.
  • A dedicated community based professional support assisting each delegate to view wider opportunities for enhanced wellbeing in the community alongside the existent support opportunities currently in place through CRC.

Target Group:
Prisoners who are soon expected to be released back into the community with one or more of the following criteria:

  • History of self-harm
  • History of relationship issues
  • History of substance misuse (but have effective support in place)
  • Prisoners who will be on a ‘Licensed Recall.’

ManMade Cruse

Are you a man struggling to cope because of a recent bereavement in your life or one in your past?

How do you cope and get through this difficult time in your life?

One option is to attend the ManMade Cruse group in Birmingham. It’s for men who have experienced bereavement and feel lost as how to deal with it. The group has a course structure and runs for 6 sessions starting on the 12th of September 2016 – Time 5:30PM – 7:30PM. Initially you learn more about grieving and what it actually is. With new understanding of what you are dealing with, you have a greater awareness of what you need to do to get through it. There will be plenty of time and opportunity to talk about your bereavement and what your struggles are.

However there is no requirement to divulge if you feel uncomfortable, you can engage as little – or as much as you like.


Life can be hard…but for some, because of particular circumstances, and more often than not, through no fault of their own, life can be much harder still. Connecting Community Networks recognises this and looks to protect and enhance citizen well-being and promote life quality. It oversees the delivery of a number of much needed holistic services that has real, evidenced based wellbeing benefits for some of our most vulnerable members in the community. CCN takes a different approach from many other traditional services by starting from a premise of vulnerability and risk due to life challenges and looking to demonstrate a positive resolution for the individual based on improved wellbeing.

Cruse Birmingham reserves the right to refer an individual to another one of our,  or a local service, if the group in question is not in the client’s best interest.

The death of a loved one is devastating and the emotional roller-coaster that follows can impact hard on your mental, social and emotional well being. Also there is something about being a man that probably makes this world of emotion feel alien to you.

website: crusebirmingham.co.uk

email: enquiries@crusebirmingham.co.uk

telephone:  0121 687 8011

Download a copy of the ManMade Cruse Birmingham Flyer



Because there’s no strength in silence


Man Made is a forward-thinking programme that supports men between the ages of 20 and 60 to realise their full potential – a tailored 8-week programme providing participants with the skills and knowledge to support their own health and well-being. 

Despite the general public perception, the suicide rate of men in mid-life has been comparable to younger men. In the last eight years though suicides in younger men have reduced whilst for men in their mid-years there has been an increase. But this is not just a challenge of age – when it comes to suicide there are a range of associated inter-related factors that can bring an individual to feel in such a state of despair that they literally believe they would be better off dead.

Associated factors for men, and women, include social inequality, deprivation, health inequalities and financial inequality as well as, in the case of many men particularly, an underlying ongoing challenge of male identity – this is where we need to consider what characteristics are deemed important when a man compares himself to his peers and how can we tackle those characteristics which prevent men from seeking help?

With the recession having hit hard across the UK and no less hard in the West Midlands in the last few years, the effect of unemployment experienced by many men twinned with a range of other associated factors that often follow on, means that despair for many individuals in this situation can result, in the most tragic of cases, in death by suicide.

The ManMade Dudley Programme was established in February 2015 as a pilot programme that engages unemployed men from the area to best support them emotionally and practically in taking best care of their own mental health and well-being. This evaluation looks to cover all the aspects of ManMade, both its successes and challenges, in the hope that firstly, the learning from the programme can be cascaded to best realise a greater understanding of the complexities of men as well as secondly, providing a knowledge platform where this programme or future off-shot programmes be developed further for the benefit of the wider cohort.

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