SUPPORTED CharitIES for 2016

We plan on making Mo'ket Harborough a little different this year. Movember do wonderful things to raise money and awareness for men's health and we will continue to support the charity with our moustache growing efforts and the subsequent money raised through their website uk.movember.com

This time however we are also supporting some charities closer to home. Using the funds raised through Mo'ket Harborough events during Movember, we are supporting two more charities that undertake work locally and have an association with men's health. The money raised during local events will then be split equally between the charities.

The two charities we will be supporting this year are Voluntary Action South Leicestershire and Ian's Chain

Voluntary Action South Leicestershire (VASL) - www.vasl.org.uk

Please describe the charity and how it supports men's health: In April 2007, SLCVS and Market Harborough Volunteer Bureau merged to become Voluntary Action South Leicestershire, creating a single organisation to support and bring together volunteers and community groups.

‘Voluntary Action’ best described the aim of both groups then, and it’s still what we’re all about today – providing services and building partnerships to meet community needs. 

We run Support For Carers Leicestershire which has approx 40% male carers. We run support groups, identify new carers and support them through telephone befriending, buddying and information on the dedicated website www.supportforcarers.org . At present we have approx 4000 carers that we are supporting.

In Harborough we also run a Carers Digital Inclusion project, - carers can become very isolated, lonely and can find it difficult to get support or information particularly if not connected to the internet.

We also run Step by Step, a group for former carers, The Leicestershire Carers Choir, based in Lutterworth and Carers Therapy and Wellbeing Service, providing 200 complementary therapy sessions for over 50 carers in Harborough in 2015. Carer have very little "me" time and this is a chance for them to relax.

We run a young activity carers group for carers between the age of 11 - 18.in Harborough District. At the moment that is made up of 100% males. Young carers support family members with long term illness, physical disability or mental health issues and many of the young carers have no idea they are doing something out of the ordinary. We help them to have regular respite from their caring responsibilities and give them the opportunity to try new things and meet new people.

Our new project, Community Champions, gives isolated or lonely people the chance to change their lives for the better. Loneliness has been proven to be as bad for your health as smoking 20 cigarettes a day. Our volunteers help those over 60 make practical changes to re-knit themselves back into the community and support them to enjoy new opportunities, become Digitally connected if they want, focus on the positives; Everyone has the right to a full and satisfying life. At the moment about a third of our clients and volunteers are male. After Charnwood, Harborough has highest population growth in the county with the highest amount of over 85 year olds. 

A factor specific to rural ageing that is unlikely to change in Harborough in the short term at least is the out migration of post-school age young people in pursuit of education, housing and jobs which leave elderly people with smaller support. Community Champions is all about helping older people to build a new support network and getting neighbours and villages to recognise that with falling Council budgets, everyone is responsible for their local people

Our Social Transport scheme has volunteer drivers that that people that may be elderly, disabled or have no access to public transport in Market Harborough to hospital appointments or shopping trips etc. We have 51drivers, 41 of them male and 40% of our clients are male. The volunteer drivers also get a lot out of their volunteering lives.

Our Health and Wellbeing project is a free and confidential service for carers throughout Leicestershire. Our aim is to help carers look after their own health as we know caring responsibilities can sometimes leave people feeling tired overwhelmed or frustrated which can lead to physical, emotional or mental ill health. People providing high levels of care are twice as likely to be permanently sick or disabled. i do not as yet have a break down for male/female carers for this project yet.

That is the rough breakdown male/female across our projects. However men's health is not just supported directly, the support we give to women also directly affects outcomes for their partners, fathers, sons.

Why would you like to be shortlisted to receive Mo'ket Harborough support?: We work hard at VASL to support people in the local area - if we don't already support you the chances are we are already supporting someone you know - your family, neighbours or friends. We are helping at the grass roots level to changes lives for the better.

With the downturn in district and county budgets we are highly likely to see any council support further evaporate and at VASL we run a very tight ship. We only have 1 full time and 2 part time core staff and without funding for these roles, we can't put in the funding bids and tenders that have enabled us to bring in so much to the Harborough area. We are proud of what we have achieved and want to continue to improve the health and wellbeing of everyone in Harborough

Ian's Chain - www.ianschain.co.uk

Please describe the charity and how it supports men's health: The charity supports those who have lost a loved one to suicide. It was set up after the death of the founders son Ian, by suicide in 2012. Ian's Chain are striving to get more support for those with mental health issues, specifically the younger adult males who are more affected by mental health issues and is the biggest killer of young males.
We work hard to raise awareness of the need for more support in the mental health sector where it is needed. We encourage young males to talk about their feelings and share experiences whilst seeking the help they so need.

Why would you like to be shortlisted to receive Mo'ket Harborough support?: Ian's Chain is totally self funded through events and donations. We have helped so many already and we wish to keep on doing so. We need vital funds to be able to do this. We are local and accessible and don't have such strict criteria in order to get help.
Ian's Chain solely fund the Leicester branch of SOBS (Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide) and through that we are finding more and more male experiences of the need for services such as this