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Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing

A Handbook for Cultural Engagement with Older Men

20 May 2015

This May the Whitworth have turned their attention to addressing a traditionally under-represented audience within cultural activities, older men.

On Friday the 8th of May The Whitworth played host and participated in a conference developed by MICRA exploring social isolation and older men which also saw the launch of the new publication, A Handbook for Cultural Engagement with Older Men.

The official launch took place at the MICRA event, “Isolation and Older Men: Understanding the Challenge and Developing New Services”. The morning session of the conference focussed on a major report published by Independent Age and the International Longevity Centre UK - Isolation: the emerging crisis for older men. One of the authors of the study – Brian Beach - provided an overview of the findings along with recommendations for challenging loneliness and the implications for local government, the third sector and government itself. The afternoon session then saw the launch and discussion of the new handbook.

Over the last year, Ed Watts, Adult Programmer at the Whitworth has travelled across the UK researching older men’s participation in cultural activity.  Funded by the Baring Foundation, he has now launched his findings in this publication designed to support other organisations and providers by providing a foundation for future programmes and methodologies when working with older men.  Drawing on activity across the UK – Burrell for Blokes (Glasgow), Men’s Shed (Rhyl), Green Candle (London), Out in the City (Manchester), Grand Gestures (Gateshead), Live and Learn project (Belfast), the publication outline key findings, including a focus on recruitment (barriers); programming and participation (what kind of activities and models of participation older men would like cultural organisations to offer) and impact (exploring the motivations and self-reported benefits for older men of engaging in cultural group activities). 

The publication includes a newly commissioned work by Tony Curry, poet.

For a copy of this new handbook please follow the link below:

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