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HomeNewsMan About Town Project extends activities in West Leeds

Man About Town Project extends activities in West Leeds

Words: Helen Fay

The Man About Town Leeds project continues to go from strength to strength.

The initiative was set up to combat isolation and promote mental well-being for men in their 40s and 50s. The charity has recently expanded their range of activities and is gaining more interest. 

Project founder Jonathan Parker said:

“We’re starting to pick up referrals from a wide range of mental health services in Leeds who are recognising our shared love of music as a point of interest for their clients.”

As well as the regular weekly walks and vinyl picnics that take place on Sundays from 10.30am to 12.30pm, the project now also runs weekly photography sessions on Mondays from 10.30am to 12.30pm at various outdoor locations and will start running again on Monday January 4, location to be confirmed. 

All the men need to bring is a camera or smartphone, or just come along for a walk to meet the group.  Jonathan added:

“It’s also important to me that we extend our activities into other areas such as the allotment group and digital where we’ve had great success supporting our men with their aspirations to learn new online based skills.”

The project has recently started meeting on Thursdays from 11.30am – 1.30pm at Woodhouse Moor Allotments for men to take part in various activities or just come along to socialise. 

The group have so far been taking part in weeding, pruning, planting, repotting and general tidying up of the plot. 

There is also the opportunity to assist in building a shelter that the group will have use of. 

The allotment is also one of two new venues that the group uses for its regular vinyl picnic sessions (where the men bring along food to eat and records to play on a portable record player). 

The other new venue is in West Leeds at Kirkstall Educational Cricket Club situated in Queenswood Drive.  In order to keep the vinyl picnic event going during the winter months it was decided to hold some sessions indoors – the venue is covid secure, masks are worn, the space is kept well ventilated and social distancing is observed at all times.  There is also an outside seated area.

The project also runs e-learning sessions.  Jonathan told the Dispatch:

“We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have computers donated to us from private donations and Leeds Beckett University to enable our e-learning group.”

The groups are proving beneficial for the men attending, as one attendee said:

“I found these (activities) really helped my state of mind, and gave me something to get up for.  I was introduced to other members who had experienced similar problems to me, and we could come together and produce something new which we could be proud of.  I am immensely grateful for everything that the Man About Town project has given me.”

man about town 2

For further details on joining any of the groups mentioned, the project has a Facebook page which lists all upcoming events and Jonathan can be contacted via the page. 

The project is a collaborative effort facilitated by music/education charity Cloth Cat alongside with digital arts enterprise Creative Frame.

The group is open to all men who are interested in getting involved.  The project page and events can be found at:

Upcoming dates (all 10.30 – 12.30 on Sundays):

Walks – 3rd January (Horsforth Hall Park) 24th January and 21st February 2021(venues tbc)

Vinyl Picnics – 10, 31 January and 14 February at Woodhouse Moor Allotments; and 17  January, 7 and 28 February 2021 at Kirkstall Educational Cricket Club.

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