Day 171. #DontManUpSpeakUp

It’s been an incredibly long time since i wrote my blog, well wrote enough to publish here anyway.  Thing is Ive been super busy, here on U.B. and busy Joining the ranks of M.I.N.T (men in need together).  These folks are awesome and I’ve admired them from afar for some time so when given the opportunity to work with them, it was a no-brainer and I jumped at the opportunity.  The whole concept is brilliant, promoting an environment for men to speak freely without judgement in a group peer to peer setting.  awesome! The organisation is growing so fast and sky-rocketing in popularity that if you blink, M.I.N.T has another town or city in their sights ready to pounce.

It was suggested, I forget now whether my idea or someone else’s, that I start a group here in Weymouth and naturally I jumped at the opportunity. To bring that concept here would be ground breaking for Weymouth and in fact Dorset. Of course I wanted to do everything I could to make this a success especially with Dorset reporting the highest suicide rates since records began.  In this day and age, it should be decreasing not increasing but with budget cuts to the community mental health teams and crisis teams, it’s no wonder that things are in the state they are and the poor professionals working for these teams are so stretched that they just can’t deal with cases as effectively as they’d like.  Sadly it’s a broken system and the over stretched professionals are caught up in it.

I set about my task with M.I.N.T by first building content on the page and advertising on various sites and groups, before long I was making great contacts and people were starting to talk, this it turns out, is a desperately needed support service here in Weymouth and the online forums and comments sections started buzzing with activity.  One person in particular took it upon herself to help us launch Weymouth M.I.N.T in to the stratosphere, a level that I’m not accustomed to and even more unaccustomed to her abundance of generosity and passion towards our mission.  Claudine Hodges has contacts within the media sector and before I knew it, we had an interview with Wessex FM and an article in the Dorset Echo.  Both of which were brilliant, executed with perfect skill by the journalists writing and producing them. They turned out to be highly effective too because as a result we managed to secure our support group venue and spread the word far and wide to folks so they knew that this was happening and we mean business. Thank you for your valued intervention Claudine and giving this project the boost that helped to get us where we are.

We had so many offers of venues and heaps of suggestions that it took a little while to process everything.  The support and generosity, the coming together of a community, has been phenomenal.  Everybody has been behind this from conception.  I’m just in awe and blown away by just how much people wanted to see this happen. Purely amazing and I thank you from bottom of my heart.

The venue that we went with is very well known in Dorset and the owners just as passionate and motivated to helping people in crisis or having troubles as M.i.N.T are.  Andy and Lisa at The Veterans Hub in Wyke Regis made a very valid point, if we’re going to be doing the same/similar thing in the very same area then it makes perfect sense to do it together and I agreed, with teamwork we can blow this beast wide open  They very generously offered us the facilities on Sunday’s which is ideal for us and they have their well deserved day off so The Hub is closed. The Veterans Hub is open to both civilians and ex services personnel and boasts a cafe with lovely outdoor, secluded seating area and very tasty cake.

The sense of pride that I have to be involved with M.I.N.T and this cause is unrivalled in my 40 years on this earth.  The way that the community has got behind us is something I’ve never experienced and it brings a very rare smile to my face to have watched everything unfold and to have been a part of it.

It truly is an inspirational story from start to finish and I’m probably not doing it much justice with my writing at the moment.  I’m out of practice.

Oh I didn’t mention, the whole thing was completed in just one week!

Drive, passion, motivation and an enormous amount of generosity all combined allowed us to get this project out of the starting blocks and ready for action.  I highly recommend following the hashtag #DontManUpSpeakUp because it’s getting everywhere and being picked up across lots of different social media platforms. I’ll not leave it so long this time to publish again. The busy bit is over but the hard work is just beginning…

If you’d like to join our Sunday support group you can contact me with the details below, I’ll be sure to give a quick response.

Much love

Till next time

Dan

07391050477

danribton79@gmail.com

facebook.com/WeymouthMint

facebook.com/theveteranshub

Address 114b Portland road, wyke regis, dt49ad

Tel number 01305 777788

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