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New Men Can Talk group planned for Lowestoft Library

Suffolk Libraries is launching a new member-led social group, for men to make friends and talk in a safe, non-judgemental environment.

The new Men Can Talk group will launch at the end of October at Lowestoft Library and is based on a similar group which is already established at Chantry Library in Ipswich.

Two initial information sessions will run in the evening of Monday 31 October and 7 November from 6PM to 8PM at Lowestoft Library. The aim will then be for new members to agree their preferred format and activities for future sessions.

Suffolk Libraries is also looking for any volunteers keen to play a role in supporting, developing and running the peer-led group and can provide more support and information about this.

The Lowestoft session is being set up to run for up to six months thanks to funding from East Suffolk Council.

The Chantry Library Men Can Talk Group has been running for about a year and those attending have gained a great deal from attending the session.

Alex Hammond, one of the group members at Chantry, said:

"The group has changed my life, it's a place I go every week to try and give back to the community.  It's a safe space that is open for all men who might need a helping hand or a place to talk. The group is a place where you can say what you feel without being judged and you can be yourself." 

Men Can Talk groups are open to men of all ages and backgrounds and anyone is welcome to come along to the first sessions at Lowestoft Library. The sessions will be very relaxed, welcoming and non-judgemental.

Those attending can contribute as much as they like and there is no expectation or pressure for people to open up about their feelings or wellbeing unless they want to.

Jane Cox, Suffolk Libraries Community Mental Health & Wellbeing Manager, said:

“Our Men Can Talk group at Chantry Library has been a great success so we’re very grateful to East Suffolk Council for providing the funding to launch this new group. The existing group seem to be getting a great deal from it in terms of their wellbeing and making friends, and have really gone from strength to strength.

"We hope the new group in Lowestoft will also be successful and would love to hear from anyone keen to get involved in making it a success.”

For more information about the session, contact Lowestoft Library on 01502 442810 or email mentalhealth@suffolklibraries.co.uk.

Suffolk Libraries hopes to set up other groups at other libraries next year too.