Our groundbreaking project, Manbassadors, is reaching out to isolated men to support their mental health with a simple intervention of bite size support on a very local level to tackle high rates of male suicide in Leeds 9.

In April 2020 our Manbassadors Project extended its reach to encompass women, as well as men, who are in risk of self harm or suicide due to isolation during Lockdown and we’re bringing useful information and ideas to you via our UnLocked ‘zine. Find out more here.

More about Manbassadors…

Led by Feel Good Factor, the Manbassador project is a growing network of local businesses acting as men’s health advocates in East Leeds, supporting isolated men who they come across on a regular basis.

Damian Dawtry, Project Manager says: “It’s simple. We make ourselves known to local business owners including gyms, chemists, barbers, bookies, pubs, corner shops, and recruit them as our Manbassadors. We provide them with information targeted at men about social activities, places to go, health and leisure, people to talk to – and when that Manbassador identifies a customer who could be isolated or lonely, or at risk of becoming isolated or lonely, they can give them a leaflet containing simple signposting information.”

The local businesses who have signed up as Manbassadors are listed below. The leaflets provided to Manbassadors are updated regularly and will feature vouchers for that extra encouraging ‘push’ towards taking part in local activities at a reduced cost. Basic training is also offered to Manbassadors with the aim of helping them to be better equipped to support the project into the future.

Damian continues, “There are many men who are not receiving the support they need and we hope that this is one way that we can reach them and start making a positive impact on the terrible rate of male suicides in Leeds. What we’ve noticed, when liaising with local businesses, is their enthusiasm for taking part in this project, and we hope that’s because it is so simple. Manbassadors are not required to take time away from their business to attend courses, or take on any responsibility further than sharing information as a result of a day to day interaction with a valued customer. Some Manbassadors already undertake a role similar to this anyway and are glad to have information to hand to pass on to vulnerable men.

We see this project as ground level community work. Our relationship with our Manbassadors is key. We don’t want to be an added burden to their already very busy lives, or overwhelm them with information, but we have found by checking in regularly, being available for any questions, tailoring what we offer them in response to what they tell us, and providing that important information in leaflet form seems to be working for everyone.  Isn’t it true that the most simple solution is often the most effective?”

This partnership project with Space 2 and Zest, who are members of the Orion Partnership along with Feel Good Factor, is being funded by Leeds City Council Public Health department and supported by Leeds Community Foundation and will continue for the remainder of 2019. The ultimate aim is to roll out this low level, localised intervention across the city to support vulnerable men who need it.

Follow Manbassadors on instagram @manbassador_project

Contact - If you have any queries about Manbassadors please contact Lawrence Glynn, Manbassador Project Coordinator by email lawrence@fgfleeds.org or phone 0113 350 4200.

Current Manbassadors as of March 2021

LS9 – Harehills
Shaftsbury Fisheries
Lloyds Pharmacy – Harehills
Harehills Pharmacy
Imaan Pharmacy
Ollie’s Fisheries
Lloyds Pharmacy, East Leeds Prinmary Care
The Gym
East Leeds Cricket Club
Bevan Healthcare

LS8 – Roundhay
W2 Barbershop
Lifestyle Express
Coin OP Wash & Dry

LS5 – Kirkstall
Oriental Delight

LS13 – Bramley
Dhillons Newsagent
Best One
Sian Stores

LS10 – Belle Isle
Greedy Monkey

LS16 – Ireland Wood
Cohen’s Chemist, Ireland Wood

LS14 – Seacroft
Rockfords Fish & Chips
Key Fisheries
Rainbow Deli
Seacroft Pharmacy
Seacroft Post Office
Lloyds Pharmacy – Seacroft
Timpsons Key Repairs (TESCOs)

LS12 – Armley
Sambuca Cafe
Classic English Fisheries
Nice n Tasty

Bevan Healthcare