Men's Pie Club

Author: Movember
For the last fourteen months, the Movember Foundation has proudly funded the Men’s Pie Club in Newcastle  - a scheme which brings together socially isolated men to celebrate their shared love of the famous British dish. It’s a simple idea in which groups of up to 10 men meet up once a week to each make and bake a pie followed by  a sit down to eat together.
 
The initiative teaches them the skills they need to cook their own nutritious food but, more importantly, it is an opportunity for them to build social relationships with each other. The reason this matters is because research has shown that many men don’t have enough of the kinds of friendships that can be a protective factor against anxiety and depression. Being socially isolated is known to be a contributory factor in suicide - and when 75% of suicides are men, this is a key issue that needs to be addressed.
 
The Movember Foundation has therefore funded a series of projects as part of its Social Innovators Challenge to support men at risk of social isolation. The focus is on building and maintaining stronger relationships they can draw upon when times get tough.  The program is building evidence around what works for men, and under which circumstances, so that this knowledge can be applied across other groups of men in the UK and abroad.
 
Project co-ordinator Colin Mallen said: “They chat and interact and build friendships. The clubs are already having a really positive impact. Just to get these guys to come is a big thing, many hardly ever leave their homes or get beyond their front doors.”
 
The first pie club was held at Food Nation's community centre in Byker in March 2018, after Movember provided the funding to buy equipment such as individual pie makers. It was so successful that two other clubs have been started elsewhere in the city, with another three in the pipeline and there are plans to roll out the scheme across Tyneside and then nationwide.

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