Men’s Health Week later this month (15-21 June) is a national week of awareness raising activity around health issues specifically affecting men.
The campaign aims to encourage men to make sure that they know how to recognise the signs of illnesses, and to talk about any health issues they have.
Here at St Richard’s Hospice we find that men can sometimes find it difficult to discuss health problems and so may be reluctant to join support groups.
So a year ago we set up our Men’s Space Group to give men with life-threatening illnesses the opportunity to spend time with other men in similar situations. The group offers an introduction to the hospice and perhaps prevent them from being alone.
During the warmer months, this small group meets in our beautiful, serene hospice gardens and tends a few flowers and vegetables.
The men enjoy taking a short time away from the pressures of life and their illnesses, the chance to relax and the opportunity to share any problems with others who may be experiencing the same issues.
The group was set up partnership with Prostate Cancer UK and horticulture expert Duncan Coombs, a recently retired lecturer from Pershore College, is on hand to help the men develop their gardening skills. There is also time to speak to specialist nurses and doctors or to have complementary therapies.
Over the winter and cooler spring months, the group have enjoyed visits from speakers who have spoken to them about a variety of topics and have enjoyed a trip out to visit the beautiful spring flowers at Spetchley Gardens. But while these weekly topics have moved away from a gardening theme, the group has continued to offer a calm environment for relaxation, care and mutual support.
Vanessa Gibson, Community Nursing Services Manager