Step by Step
Priority AxisTechnological and Social Innovation
Lead partnerThe Health and Europe Centre
Project budget4 356 677 €
ERDF amount2 614 006 €
Men’s health & wellbeing is suffering across the 2Seas area with high & increasing suicide/depression rates. In Kent (PP2) suicide is the highest killer of men aged under 45 and in Schilderswijk (PP6) depression is at 21% of the male population. Men visit their GP on average 20% less than women and delay seeking medical help indicating a level of social exclusion or inertia. Preparation work has highlighted:
- a demand for community based activities to improve health and wellbeing and reduce vulnerability
- a need to address social cohesion by intergenerational skills transfer to bring more people into the labour market (male unemployment in Wattrelos is 25.2% and the French unemployment rate nationally is 10%). http://ec.europa.eu/health/population_groups/docs/men_health_leaflet_en.pdf.
World Economic Forum research indicates that areas with higher employment tend to have lower suicide rates.
Step by Step (SBS) will empower men to move from poor health &/or isolation to healthy social participation or active engagement in the labour market. It will use PP12s participation ladder to measure personal development (see the 'visualisation of the project logic' section for more details). It will promote a culture in which all citizens in all regions will have the confidence to make sustainable positive changes in their lives benefitting themselves & society. Expected changes: reduced health costs related to physical & mental health issues; better health contributing to healthier individuals, families, communities & workforce; increased labour market activity; decreased number of work days lost to poor health.
The target group for SBS is specifically men and in particular those who may be socially isolated and suffering from poor mental health or poor wellbeing. However the project will also be open to women who will be very welcome to use the new SBS services.
- A model to improve men’s mental & physical health/wellbeing via a community space/workshop where men meet/learn new skills/engage in hands on activities 94 new workshops implementing the model.
- New model of community health service delivery for men & vulnerable groups.
- A gaming-based virtual tool to connect people and indirectly raise their awareness of their physical/mental health and wellbeing. This tool will take the learning from the experience of Pokemon Go (where an unexpected side-benefit of the game was that players increased the amount they walked, with unforeseen consequential health benefits http://bit.ly/2a5Wobb). SBS will create something similar; our research has shown men do not like talking directly about their health/unemployment but enjoy doing things & being competitive.
- Training programme to create champions for health & wellbeing from within the workshop attendees
- Training programme for soft skills (motivational interviewing, empowerment etc)
Cross border approach
Health & wellbeing services targeting men in the 2Seas region are not accessible by all in their current format e.g. Wattrelos is located in an area nationally recognized as having few psychiatric services. To generate long-term sustainable change, services need to be embedded within their communities. SBS partners bring together the necessary expertise to develop & test a model which will do this: PP2 has experience of the Men’s Shed programme tackling mental health (http://bit.ly/1V188vv). PP3 have experience with a community health champions programme to tackle physical health. FR & NL partners have relevant community outreach experience addressing social isolation & upskilling. SBS will create a new model providing mental health, physical health, participation & employability services in one setting, building on PP12s participation ladder. The individual elements have all been implemented successfully; SBS brings this expertise together to benefit an under-served target group.
SBS continued well in early 2020, with meetings in Ashford in February gearing up for major intervention. COVID hit soon after, reducing working to online (incl. two days of meetings in September), and severely reducing ability of partners to set up Sheds, maintain activity, work with Shedders on Health/Employment issues of WP2, and gather Evaluation data. Partners made significant efforts to mitigate this, but target groups are those instructed to shelter; and services are diverted into COVID activity, or furloughed.
Some partnership positives:
- Digital Sheds created, with new or existing Shedders leading and/or participating;
- Health themes seen as more relevant to target group, increasing the interest in/relevance of SBS;
- Release of Digital Tool
- PP2: 4 new virtual sheds; Mental Health Awareness Week and International Mens Day virtual events
- PP3: digital training/support; significant time 121/group with Shed Leaders; +12 sheds, all COVID-secure; Zoom Health Champion training, interest locally/nationally (emerging health inequalities arising from COVID); Employment Leads training received positive feedback despite limitations in external opportunities (courses or employment)
- PP4: Quantitative data collection completed, baseline data analysed/reported; baseline report in English, Dutch and French presented to partners and media/policy makers.
- PP5: Second shed related to gardening, and cooperation with external organisationsto target people without employment or with poor mental health
- PP6: Wattrelos health fair presented SBS including Health Kiosk. Maintained partnerships (CARSAT, health/insurance services) to provide guidance/ meaningful workshops (health, diet, sports, addiction) and local employment service to help shedders with social rights, law and employment . Workshops with nurse/homecare (covid, heart disease, addiction, diet). Neighbourhood gathering presented wooden games created together.
- PP8: creation of new shed located in very deprived neighbourhood, which will make shedders more engaged with SBS project sustainable.
- PP11: In addition to the digital tool, Health MOT Roadshows took place before lockdown. Created promotional leaflets to ensure shedders know how to book a kiosk visit