International Men’s Day was celebrated all over the UK yesterday (Monday 19th November 2012) in the biggest ever celebration of the day seen in this country.
A broader range of charities got involved than ever before, including those working with a diverse range of men including black and minority ethnic men, men with learning disabilities and other mental health needs and men who face significant barriers to engagement due to poor educational attainment, poor health, low self-esteem, unemployment and isolation.
We also saw celebrities like Paul McCartney, Brad Pitt and Katie Price backing an International Men’s Day fundraising campaign to help raise awareness of men’s cancer inequalities.
International Men’s Day was used as a launchpad for new initiatives by the NHS in Scotland, the Early Years Foundation in London and Men Beyond 50.
These new initiatives included a life-saving health screening programme for men in Scotland, an online network for older men and a new London Network for Men in Childcare.
In Northern Ireland a joint project between the Workers Education Association, Parenting NI, Home Start NI and the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland called Man Matters launched a new report on Fatherhood.
In Preston a group called Men Against Violence put their focus on violence against women and girls while in Leeds The Chris Worfolk Foundation announced the launch of a new men’s issues campaign raising awareness of issues facing men and boys in the areas of health, education, employment and family.
The Leeds project also launched the MILE Network (Men’s Issues in Learning and Education Network) to connect people concerned with the underachievement and under-representation of men and boys in education.
There were also a broad range of public events in places like Manchester, London, Brighton, Birmingham and Derby ranging from a fun day out at Derby County Football Club to a Tash Dash fun run in Brighton for men and women wearing silly moustaches.
From an organizational perspective, International Men’s Day in the UK launched a new brand and was overseen by a team of co-ordinators for the first time laying a solid foundation for further growth in 2013.
The increased popularity of the day was marked by a record number of visits to the International Men’s Day UK blog which at one point yesterday was ranked as the second fastest growing blog on WordPress.
This was due in no small part to the huge popularity of our list on the Top 10 Men’s Issues based on an online survey conducted by the IMD UK team.
We also saw more media coverage this year in The Guardian, the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Star as well as numerous interviews of local radio stations around the country.
The Guardian article reviewed the National Conference for Men and Boys which is now an annual event that takes place every year at the beginning of November in the run up to International Men’s Day and as such is a flagship event for the IMD UK team.
Spreading our influence beyond the UK we saw the Isle of Man celebrate the day for the first time and the IMD UK team was featured on radio in Dublin. The UK team was also the key architect of the global theme for International Men’s Day 2012 which was Helping Men And Boys Live Longer, Happier, Healthier Lives.
Thanks to all who supported the day if you held an event and want to let us know or if you want to get involved in celebrating International Men’s Day 0n 19th November 2013 then please contact us today.