Leading Providers of Care Homes in the UK
Recruitment / HR:
01162746412
Sales:
01162746404 (Mon - Fri, 8:30 - 5pm)

International Men’s Day 2020

International Men’s Day is celebrated globally, and is “an opportunity for people everywhere   of goodwill to appreciate and celebrate the men in their lives and the contribution they make to society for the greater good of all.” This year’s theme is ‘better health for men and boys’.

The three core themes for International Men’s Day in the UK are:

  • Making a positive difference to the wellbeing and lives of men and boys
  • Raising awareness and/or funds for charities supporting men and boys’ wellbeing
  • Promoting a positive conversation about men, manhood and masculinity

 

           

We asked our colleagues, to let us know what International Men’s Day means to them via a series of questions. Here’s a few of those questions and responses!

 

Dave Marson is part of the Quality Matters team, aka ‘The Training Guy’

What does International Men’s Day mean to you?

“A day focused on supporting men and raising awareness in mental health among men is vital and think this should be raising awareness more often.”

What does working for PrimeLife mean to you?

Prime Life has given me so much experience and joy. I am just coming up to my 6th year with Prime Life and progressed from a support worker to the quality matters role. Prime Life always like to bring the term “family” to everyone within the company. Working in the health and social care industry is challenging and rewarding on so many levels. No two days are the same and we have been tested this year more than any and have only grown stronger as a “family”.

Is there any advice you want to pass along to young men; generally, or entering the world of work?

Many times, working as a support worker or care assistant being a male, when I was growing up and my friends would call me names and tease me for my job. My friends did not realize how much influence we can have on people’s lives and the support and well being we can provide to make in some cases the last few weeks/months of their lives the most memorable in dignity and respecting them as an individual.

Men’s mental health is a subject that we as a society are starting to focus on, and hoping to be better with. Do you have any words for anyone struggling?

As a mental health first aider and someone who has suffered mental health in the past with depression and having someone to talk too, makes all the difference. Statistically men are higher for suicide because we “bottle up” our feelings and emotions. Talking with someone, especially someone who is in the same industry or has experienced the same mental health can support one another and there is that old saying “a problem shared, is a problem solved”. I would and do advise anybody who is finding their mental health tough at this moment in time and any time to speak to someone who is willing to listen, not pass judgement and show empathy to them.

What do you think is the biggest issue facing men in work today?

Both men and women face many issues today when finding work and trying to keep in work once being employed. I feel the biggest issue with men and women is trying to balance home life along with work life can be tough. People think that you need good GCSE results and a-levels to make a difference in the world, I think this is the wrong mentality. If you have something to give, someone who can show respect with manners and can listen, then anybody can learn/be trained in the rest but you cannot beat “life experience”.

Men take on many different roles in society. What are your roles?

Men do take many roles and my role was the main care support for my mum growing up at a young age. When I was 13, I would support my mum at home through many tough times and it did affect me and my mental health. Luckily, I had many friends and my big sister to help me who taught me right from wrong. I am now a father also to my son Cayden, who is coming up to 7 years old. Like I have said previously, finding time for work and family life is so important, and he brings me so much happiness and joy.

Do you think there are any stereotypes linked to your role(s)?

There are many stereo types in health and social care, and majority of the time it is negative. The media portray the care industry when something bad happens, BUT you never see the good in the media. Luckily in my job role, I do see the good and I hope I have played a part with the training that we provide, and the team put it into practice. Care workers and support workers undervalue themselves and naturally they think of the negatives in everything that they do.

Do you have any male role models?

I am a big sports fan and a few people come to mind. George Best is the main one I look up to who at a young age was filled with fame and fortune and the psychological impact it had on him and he was still able to produce magic on the football pitch. Recently Tyson Fury who has admitted that he has struggled with mental health and the impact it has had on his life and for his friends and family and is making people more aware that there is support out there and making more people aware that it is good to talk.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

This year has been tough for everybody and as previously stated, it has made people stronger and the family is stronger more than ever. All men and women who work at Prime Life, thank you for your amazing attitude and hard work by everyone to keep our residents smiling, independent and safe. If you do need more support, we as a company are always wanting to help and support, just ask. DON’T BE AFRAID TO TALK!! #youareheroes

   

Vicki Shaw is the Workforce Development Director

What does International Men’s Day mean to you?

It is an opportunity for us all to take a step back and consider the males in our lives.

What does working for PrimeLife mean to you?

Working for Prime Life means that I get the chance to make a difference and I am privileged to work with some amazing people.

Is there any advice you want to pass along to young men; generally, or entering the world of work?

I would say… respect yourself. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone else other than yourself so do your best and people will respect you for doing that.

Men’s mental health is a subject that we as a society are starting to focus on, and hoping to be better with. Do you have any words for anyone struggling?

Everyone struggles at some point but not everyone has the courage to admit it. Starting the conversation is the hardest part but you will find that most people are only too happy to listen.

What do you think is the biggest issue facing men in work today?

Changing perceptions in the workforce – the idea that they need to be the ‘breadwinner’ and ‘provide’ causes a lot of anxiety when it doesn’t need to. Both men and women can support their families either by earning money, looking after the home or raising children – its about sharing that makes it work.

Men take on many different roles in society. Do you have anyone who takes on these roles in your life?

I like to think that I share being a homemaker and provider for my family with my husband. We still have our preferred jobs at home and tasks that we are better at than others but generally helping each other out makes it work.

Do you think there are any stereotypes linked to these or any other role(s)?

I feel that the care industry has previously had an enormous stigma attached to it and that men have been excluded. Its getting better but still a long way to go. Crazy really when half the population are men and they need care and support just as much as women. Male care workers are invaluable to provide balance and a different perspective. I hope we see change in the future and learn how to encourage more males into such a rewarding profession.

Do you have any male role models?

My Dad! Sadly, passed now but will always be my hero. He taught me the meaning of self-respect, hard work and loyalty. His words to me prior to any challenge were “Do your best, best of British”. I use them with my own children now!

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I would like to say that gender is not the most important factor for me. The attributes that the person brings far outweigh a title.

 

 

 Alan Lamb is a 1–1 Support Worker at Kirklees

What does International Men’s Day meant to you?

“Recognition for men who work in care.”

What does working for PrimeLife mean to you?

“I enjoy making a difference to the lives of other who I support.”

Is there any advice you want to pass along to young men; generally, or entering the world of work?

“Be confident, respectful; take advice from more senior staff. Have a sense of humor.”

Men’s mental health is a subject that we as a society are starting to focus on, and hoping to be better with. Do you have any words for anyone struggling?

“Talk about it. Don’t be afraid to say you are struggling. Don’t be too hard on yourself.”

What do you think is the biggest issue facing men in work today?

“In the care industry, men are outnumbered by women. As a man I’ve had to learn to be ore sensitive; to be careful of remarks, so as not to offend.

Men take on many different roles in society. What are your roles?

“I am a father of 4, a partner and a support worker. I am also an avid Liverpool supporter, but I’m also a sociable person. I take pride in my community and my workplace. I’m also a grandfather of 5. I work alongside my partner in bringing home the money to pay the bills etc.

Do you think there are any stereotypes linked to your role(s)?

“Not that I have noticed. I have had people say they couldn’t do my job, but I tell them it can be very rewarding.”

Do you have any male role models?

“I lost my father at a young age. I have 3 older brothers who have helped me through tough times. I look up to these, and Jurgen Klopp, who has fantastic management skills, haha!

Is there anything else you would like to share?

“If people (men) are thinking about coming into care, I would say they will find the job challenging at times, but mostly very rewarding. There is a great deal of training which means you are not just a carer, you are highly skilled in support & in the care industry, and can climb to higher levels if you choose.

 

 

 Michael Groom is the PrimeLife Social Media & Marketing Assistant

What does International Men’s Day mean to you?

I feel that international men’s day is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate all men in all sectors, from those who work in communities to make a better place for all, those who entertain and make us laugh, and to those who are just doing the best they can for themselves and their families.

It is also a good opportunity to discuss topics such as mental health, toxic masculinity and male suicide so that together we can get rid of the stigma around these topics and work unitedly to bring help to everyone who needs it.

What does working for PrimeLife mean to you?

Last week was my one-year anniversary with Primelife and even with the current pandemic it has been a fantastic one.

Primelife are giving me a fantastic opportunity to grow my own skills within social media and marketing, however it also means that I can make a difference in someone’s life as what Kavita and I do can often mean it’s the only way family members see there loved ones at the moment.

Is there any advice you want to pass along to young men; generally, or entering the world of work?

Do your best, work towards your goals and most importantly respect yourself. Your worth as a person isn’t what other put upon you, and as long as you can say you did your best  and respect yourself, other will give you the same back.

Men’s mental health is a subject that we as a society are starting to focus on, and hoping to be better with. Do you have any words for anyone struggling?

As someone who is battling with my own mental health, I would like to say that if you are struggling right now, please reach out for help.

Talking to friends and family is a fantastic way to start, there are also some amazing support groups and of course your doctor can also help, whether that is thought medication or providing links to support groups or like-minded people.

What do you think is the biggest issue facing men in work today?

The outdated pressure of being the main provider for the household, the person who sole responsibility it is to protect their family whilst the stigma of not being able to talk about your feelings sadly still exists for men and it really shouldn’t.

Over coming this stigma and working with your partner to ensure that the workload is spread evenly, and responsibilities are shared are a fantastic start.

If you are currently unattached, to not feel what you do for a living and what you could provide a partner is what measures you as a man, you are more then what you do.

Men take on many different roles in society. What are your roles?

I am a father to two lovely boys, I am the higher earner between my partner and I however we work as a team to ensure that the kids go without and the home is stocked, I also try to use my voice for change on both a political front and a mental health front.

However, I feel the biggest part of society I fall into is the geek culture. I run a wargames club (back in a non-pandemic world) and find myself wrapped up in many forms of the culture, from tabletop games to comic books.

I have also found that a lot of geek related hobbies, be it wargames (such as Warhammer 40k), card games (such as Magic the Gathering) and comic/anime are dominated by men and I use my voice to promote change with in the culture to ensure that everyone who takes part isn’t be discriminated for any reason.

Do you think there are any stereotypes linked to your role(s)?

Whilst working at Primelife I have found that men working with in care homes is a rear thing, thankfully we do have some very talented men working within our homes. I believe the stigma of men being a care giver still exists and as such any role within this field is often looked at not an option for men. I do believe this is changing and more men are considering care work as an option which will only help the industry grow as differing points of view from all different types of people is needed to make real change.

Do you have any male role models?

Stephen Fry is one of the first who comes to mind, he is an amazing advocate of men’s health and never shies away from talking about his own and the struggles he goes thought. He will also make a stand when he believes something is wrong and is a strong voice where needed.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is also an inspiration for me as he proved with hard work and determination you can make anything you want to happen, happen. He a strong voice in many movements but I find him inspirational in his want to unite the human race to create a better future for all people.

Lastly, my Grandfather, when he past 4 years ago there was so many people at his funeral that there want enough space and they had to stand and listen in the carpark. He showed and taught me that respect is something that you must have for yourself and give people, without expecting it in return. Treat everyone you meet how you would expect to be treated and love them for who they are, and do not worry about what others think.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I would just like to end with that the world is a difficult place right now, and not everyone may be in the same situation as you, so please, don’t forget to love each other.

 

Thank you to Dave, Vicki, Alan and Michael for their responses!