Current News Stories
Whispering Belfast Project Video PDF Print E-mail
Written by Carole Kane   
Thursday, 29 August 2013 16:02


This video explains the process and the exhibition of puppets, whose narratives allowed the expressions of quiet voices, the sometimes overlooked, to have their say about Belfast.

Symbols of the Heart Project PDF Print E-mail
Written by Carole Kane   
Tuesday, 27 August 2013 10:38
The WEA is looking for 8 centres from the Lisburn City and Castlereagh Borough council areas to become "Local Learning Hubs" that would be able to host this opportunity for those who use your centre. This means that a learning group of 12-15 people will be based in your centre between Sept 2013 and March 2014 to work on the project. The programme is offered to the participants for free, thanks to the support from the Lisburn-Castlereagh Peace III Partnership

Participants on the programme will:

  • Attend a 10 hour Good Relations course (usually over three sessions)
  • Work with an artist/facilitator to create a piece of Art work for your local centre reflective of the project theme.
  • Attend another two interactive sessions

The WEA is keen to hear from interested groups. Should you have any questions, or if you'd like to get back to me to register your group, please contact Carole Kane at or telephone 90329718 as soon as possible.

More Support needed for Young Fathers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Siobhan Harding   
Tuesday, 20 August 2013 10:55
The Charity Working with Men which specialises in supporting young dads says that more services need to be put in place for young fathers to help them play more of a role in their child's life.

In an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live the Charity said that the only expectation on young dads is to provide financial support. This is a cultural problem and a new approach for 21st Century families is needed. If we are trying to encouraging more young fathers to be involved with their child we cannot do this without providing them with some kind of support.

Two young dads were interviewed about their experiences and showed that they were treated differently because they were both young and male. Their experiences with midwifery services and healthcare after the baby was born often left them feeling ignored and sidelined and they very often felt a negative attitude towards them.

All the evidence shows that children do better when they have a positive and involved father in their lives. This is something which needs to be promoted particularly among healthcare professionals so that they support both parents equally through all stages of maternity and after the birth.

Listen again to a short clip of the interviews here

Or listen to the full discussion on Radio 5 here (19.15 minutes into the programme and also 47.35 minutes).

Getting inside a Man's Shed PDF Print E-mail
Written by Siobhan Harding   
Thursday, 15 August 2013 09:48
Watch this video from the BBC on the development of the Men's Sheds movement in England. The Men's Sheds movement began in Australia around 15 years ago and there now a number of Men's Sheds in the UK.

This video shows interviews with some of the men from Camden Town Men's Shed. Men's Sheds work because the men come together and decide what they want to do in the Shed rather than what others think they want to do. Men's Sheds have great social benefits getting men who are otherwise isolated together. This can improve their quality of life and help prevent loneliness and isolation which can in turn have health benefits for the men involved.

Man Matters is currently working with a number of local men's groups to help them develop into Men's Sheds.

Pulling strings – puppets show life at Belfast’s Peace Walls PDF Print E-mail
Written by Carole Kane   
Friday, 09 August 2013 11:32


Life beside Belfast's notorious peace walls is among the secret and taboo subjects that have been brought to life in a unique puppet exhibition created by local community groups now on display at the Ulster Museum.

Whispering Belfast was developed by the Workers' Educational Association working mainly with members of Forthspring Community Group on the Springfield Road and The Vine on the Crumlin Road who used hand-crafted puppets to explore the notion of things that people rarely say out loud or even admit that they are thinking, particularly in relation to the city of Belfast.

Whispering Belfast Exhibition 6th-27th August PDF Print E-mail
Written by Carole Kane   
Thursday, 25 July 2013 00:00
Men's Health Week in Derry/L'Derry PDF Print E-mail
Written by Siobhan Harding   
Monday, 01 July 2013 10:55
Once again the Men's Action Network (MAN) in co-operation with Man Matters were out and about during Men's Health Week in Derry/L'Derry promoting men’s health, carrying out health checks and generally raising awareness about men’s emotional and physical wellbeing.

Over a two-day period, volunteers from MAN accompanied nurses and therapists as they set up stall in Foyleside Shopping Centre, providing blood cholesterol, sugar and pressure tests alongside BMI and body fat tests. Following the tests a number of men were advised to contact their GP.

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Health Checks and Therapies in Foyleside Shopping Centre  
Our First Intergenerational Projects PDF Print E-mail
Written by Healy King   
Friday, 28 June 2013 13:26

Some of the people involved in the four intergenerational Projects

digital age project

Dean Crooks Fold in Belfast recently hosted an event to celebrate the activities undertaken by four successful intergenerational digital media projects in year 1 of the Digital Age Project.

Intergenerational groups from across Belfast and in Donaghadee – Dean Crooks Fold & Strandtown Primary (East Belfast), Harmony Court and Wheatfield Primary (North Belfast), Camberwell Court and The Star Neighbourhood Centre (North Belfast) and The Imperial and St Annes Primary (Donaghadee) came together to showcase the work they had done and for cupcakes, naturally!

The groups enjoyed using the internet for research, interviewing each other, exploring digital photography, compiling a newsletter, creating websites and their content, and learning valuable social and digital media skills through their interaction.

NE - Integration Workshop in Ballymena Primary School PDF Print E-mail
Written by Carole Kane   
Thursday, 27 June 2013 00:00

Ballymena Primary School photographic exhibition shows their understanding of diversity

At the start of June, Ballymena Primary School hosted a world music event, as part of the Peace III Community Integration project for the North East cluster and funded under the European Union’s PEACE III Programme. This has contributed to promoting integration and better relations in the area.


The photo is Mrs Alexander Ballymena Primary School Teacher, Audrey Whales (Ballymena Mayor), Ivy Ridge Ballymena Interethnic Forum, Mr Harold Brownlow Headmaster of Ballymena Primary School. Photograph is courtesy of Ballymena Times.

Father's Day Funday PDF Print E-mail
Written by Siobhan Harding   
Friday, 21 June 2013 12:06

Man Matters in partnership with Greenway Women's Centre in the Cregagh area of Belfast held a Father's Day Funday to celebrate local dads and their kids! The event was held in Greenway Women’s Centre during Men’s Health Week and the day before Father’s Day.

Greenway_Womens_Centre Dads_Group
Father's Day Funday event at Greenway Women's Centre
Daddy Bears Family Picnic PDF Print E-mail
Written by Siobhan Harding   
Thursday, 20 June 2013 11:21
To celebrate Father’s Day and Men’s Health Week 2013 the Man Matters project in partnership with the Loughshore Access Project (LAP) held a Daddy Bear’s Family Picnic at the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre.

Despite a little rain the event was a great success focusing on the dads and their kids. There were lots of fun activities for those who attended including a nature scavenger hunt, pond dipping activities, healthy BBQ, bird watching and face painting.

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Daddy Bears Family Picnic in the beautiful Lough Neagh Discovery Centre


Action Men! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Siobhan Harding   
Tuesday, 18 June 2013 22:23

Every year since its inception, Man Matters has held a series of major events in line with the theme of Men's Health Week.  The theme this year was "be your own action hero" where men were encouraged to take action for themselves, to promote their own health and wellbeing, engage in community life and volunteering, re-enter education and to become more involved in family life.  Throughout Men's Health Week and particularly at the City Life Centre on Saturday in partnership with SureStart, that's exactly what hundreds of men from across Northern Ireland did!

The day's events kicked off with the finals of the "SureStart United" football trophy.  The competition was fierce and fiery at times, but the Upper Springfield 'Saol Ur Surestart' came out cool winners in the end.

Football_Action Winners
Competing for the Sure Start Shield The Lord Mayor presenting Saol Ur SureStart with the Shield                                
Understanding Emotional Wellbeing PDF Print E-mail
Written by Siobhan Harding   
Monday, 17 June 2013 10:09
During Men’s Health Week Man Matters continued its workshop on Understanding Emotional Wellbeing in conjunction with NIACRO. Participants are service users of the Jobtrack programme and include individuals who have offended.

This series of workshops held over five weeks looks at issues such as understanding and dealing with depression, managing stress and anger, dealing with worry and acceptance and emotional resilience. Each workshop consists of two hours of delivery where the men learn about the subject area followed by an hour of therapy where the men have the opportunity to avail of a range of therapies including Reiki, head massage and acupuncture.

Dawn Lord from Man Matters said, “this is an important workshop particularly as it runs over Men’s Health Week and focuses on emotional health. Helping these men to understand their emotional wellbeing is key to ensuring their integration back into their families and communities.”

Tomas Fisher, Man Matters tutor said: “An important part of men’s health is emotional resilience. An important part of resilience is awareness. The first step in awareness is asking for help. Men often tend to think more about their physical health and need to be encouraged to ask for help with their emotional health.”


Men's Health Awareness and Therapies Day PDF Print E-mail
Written by Siobhan Harding   
Friday, 14 June 2013 15:48
Continuing with our series of events for Men's Health Week, Man Matters were in Malton Fold in the Taughmona estate in South Belfast today for a men’s health awareness and therapies day. Since 2010, Man Matters has worked closely with Malton Fold to provide courses and events for the men in the Fold and the local community.

Today the guys had their blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol checked, experienced reflexology and a relaxing acupuncture session, basking in the knowledge that they all passed their health MOT!

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Health Checks at Malton Fold
Men's Health Event at Belfast City Hall PDF Print E-mail
Written by Siobhan Harding   
Thursday, 13 June 2013 16:19
BannerToday the Belfast Men's Health Group, of which Man Matters is a member, held a Men's Health Event at the City Hall in Belfast. The event was held as part of Men's Health Week which takes place from 10th to 16th June. The front lawn of the City Hall was turned into an outdoor gym with lots of fitness activities, health checks and advice on healthy living.


Live Testicular Cancer Check on Stephen Nolan Show PDF Print E-mail
Written by Siobhan Harding   
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 13:24
radio_ulsterAs part of Men's Health Week 2013 the Stephen Nolan Show on BBC Radio Ulster and local GP Colum Farrelly did a live testicular cancer check on air. Well done to Vinny, the producer of the Stephen Nolan Show for getting his testicles checked during the programme. Man Matters admires Vinny's bravery and encourages all men not to be embarrassed about checking themselves and to visit their GP if they have any concerns.

Dr Farrelly stressed that self assessment is very important because finding and diagnosing cancer early gives the best chance of treatment. Testicular cancer is very treatable and is far easier to treat when it is found earlier.

Men often get embarrassed and self conscious about taking their clothes off and even talking about their testicles. There is a need to encourage men to overcome this embarrassment as this is such an important issue. It needs to be made much more public that all men know to examine their testicles regularly and talk to their GPs about any lumps they find.

Dr Farrelly talked listeners through the process of checking the testicles and encouraged all men to do this regularly. He encouraged men who find a lump to make an appointment to see their GP. He advised men not to panic as only 1 in 20 lumps will turn out to be cancer. The take home message for all men is to examine themselves regularly and if they find a lump to see their GP.

Vinny echoed what many people feel once they have had a health concern checked out: "the peace of mind is great". He also said that the embarrassment factor goes very quickly and he was glad he got it done!

Listen again to the show (the piece is on after the 10 o'clock news):

More information and advice is available at:

Useful leaflet on men's health also can be downloaded from:

Father and Kids Fun Day at the Colin Neighbourhood Partnership PDF Print E-mail
Written by Siobhan Harding   
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 09:32

Man Matters in partnership with the Colin Neighbourhood Partnership (CNP) hosted a Father and Kids Fun Day at Cloona House in the full June sunshine!! The event was held to mark the start of Men's Health Week and Father's Day and to encourage men in the local area to bring their families along to have some fun while at the same time finding out some information about their health and wellbeing.

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Gary from Man Matters with Scap from CNP Damien and Scap from CNP with Gary from Man Matters
Men's Health Week is Here! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Siobhan Harding   
Monday, 10 June 2013 09:20


Men’s Health Week (MHW) runs from Monday 10th June to Sunday 16th June 2013. The theme for 2013 in Ireland is Action Men! – Turning Words into Actions. So if you’re worried about your health, don’t just talk about it DO something about it!

Photography Exhibition at Mossley Mill PDF Print E-mail
Written by Siobhan Harding   
Thursday, 06 June 2013 23:45

A group of men have just completed a digital photography course facilitated by Man Matters at Mossley Mill in Newtownabbey.  The men have been given the chance to pick five of their best photographs from the course to use in an exhibition of their work which will be on display in Mossley Mill until 17th June.


Some of the men with their photographs at the exhibition in Mossley Mill

They think it's all isn't yet! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Siobhan Harding   
Thursday, 06 June 2013 22:27

To celebrate Men’s Health Week (next week 10th - 16th June!) and Father’s Day (Sunday 16th June) Man Matters in partnership with Sure Start bring together a number of teams of dads from Sure Start groups across Northern Ireland to compete for the coveted ‘Sure Start United Annual Shield’.



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