Nationwide launch of Countrymen UK Clubs
Nationwide launch of Countrymen UK Clubs allows older men with health issues to access support services in an environment they understand
Countrymen UK is an exciting new nationwide initiative providing a unique solution designed to support the increasing isolation of men who find themselves unable to access outdoor work and leisure environments because of their deteriorating physical or mental health or changing social conditions.
The countrywide launch of Countrymen Clubs aims to help men become more resilient to the life changes they experience as a result of rural isolation and ageing. The Clubs are particularly keen to recruit older men who have dementia, depression or a limiting long term illness but are open to men of all ages who experience rural isolation and deteriorating physical or mental health. Typically the men will have an affinity with outdoor environments and may have worked in farming or horticulture or in other countryside or outdoor environments.
Thanks to funding from the National Lottery, more than a dozen Care Farms and Gardens across the UK have signed up to become a Countrymen UK Social Franchisee and are aiming to recruit members, together with volunteers, to their newly formed Countrymen UK Clubs.
The first Countrymen’s Club is based at Rylands Farm in the Dorset countryside and has been running since 2011. The Club also helps the wives and carers of the members providing an opportunity for respite as well as the chance to socialise and gain mutual support from one another.
One Countryman commented, “I was depressed and isolated. I missed the life I once had in the countryside and had little contact with people outside my family. That’s all changed now. I love being outside again. It brings back memories. It’s become a new adventure for me – a healthy adventure. And I’m surrounded by people who share my interests.”
Rylands Farm in Dorset normally runs four three hour sessions every week throughout the year. Some members attend only one session, while others attend multiple sessions – it’s entirely up to them and a small charge is made for each session.
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