Why GREEN should be a Man’s Favourite Colour

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Men’s Health Week is celebrated every year in mid-June commemorating men’s health worldwide. The theme of this year is “Building Healthy Environments for Men and Boys”. Something which we hold very close to our hearts.

At RE:geon our purpose is to provide individuals with the right foundation they need to take it to the next level, whether that be the next step in their career, their confidence or simply how they go about their day to day – and the empowerment of men makes up a huge proportion of that. We are committed to building healthy environments for men in a number of ways. From the provision of training and career opportunities for entry level learners as well as veterans through to the upcoming launch of our NEW Community Glow Up series, the need to sow the seeds for a healthy environment where men can feel safe to open up about any challenges they may be facing is something we dedicate a great deal of time and resource to. This blog seeks to explore more about why green spaces play a pivotal role in keeping men feeling physically and mentally well in today’s modern world, and how our Community Glow Up series aims to strengthen the positive impact that can be made.  

It’s a fact. Men benefit more from local green space!

Over the past two years, and three separate lockdowns, mother nature has been instrumental in easing our woes. It’s no secret that we’ve all, regardless of our gender, been grappling with more complex emotions than ever before. And for the majority of the UK population, (if not the globe entirely), spending more time at home and less time with friends and wider family has meant that our mental health has taken a significant hit in ways that we still haven’t quite been able to process.

But throughout this unpredictable time, there was one common denominator that, for many, served as a welcome respite to an otherwise miserable time: local green spaces.

Nearby parks, country roads and community green spaces quickly became our safe havens. They became the thing we looked forward to most in the day. Our break from the dining room table. Our place of quiet reflection. Our downtime. Our switch and reset button. And our chance to ‘feel like us again’. With this new dependence on nature and green spaces, when partnered with shifting corporate attitudes to remote working, it would seem we have developed a new relationship with the great outdoors.

Connecting with nature and feeling the cool air on your skin has never been more important in bringing us to a place of calm and control as it did through the pandemic – and like many things that seem to have ‘stuck’ since COVID-19, connecting with green spaces is one of the positive habits that we at RE:geon believe must stay! In pursuit of promoting improved health and wellbeing if nothing else!

So, what can green spaces specifically do for Men’s health?

Believe it or not, scientists from Edinburgh University have spent many years studying areas with green space such as parks and playing fields in urban neighbourhoods across the UK and compared the number of people who died from heart or lung conditions with people living in less green areas. They found that men living in the greenest neighbourhoods were about 10% less likely to die from lung problems than those with little green space, but there was no difference found at all for women. So, it would seem that community green spaces play a special part in a man’s heart – quite literally! (Sorry girls!)

Green spaces are the only ‘Local’ men need!

Just five minutes walking in green space is said to be enough to reduce stress and increase your motivation to stay active. Making it the perfect antidote to any daily stresses or workplace worries that are getting on top of you. But with a large stigma still looming around men discussing their mental or emotional needs, how can we ensure that green spaces continue to offer the much-needed level of support that men so greatly need?

Enter our Community Glow Up!

Like anything worth having in life, green space requires considerable and constant attention to ensure that the spaces remain clean, beautiful and above all, beneficial, to its users. But the resource to do this is few and far between so many green spaces have now become neglected. Leaving it down to local authority to renovate the areas is no longer an option. Especially if we’re to make urgent improvements to the world around us – most notably in the pursuit of supporting the rising number of men currently suffering with mental health issues. That’s why we decided to step up and make it our mission to give the local region a major glow up! 

We’ve teamed with a number of like-minded organisations around the North East to deliver the RE:geon Community Glow Up. A series of programmes with no end date, expiry or eligibility criteria in sight! An initiative that’s here to stay. With an endless list of green space renovation projects for people from all walks of life to get involved with.

The aim of the Glow Up and subsequent ‘Sowing & Growing’ projects are to bring communities together and encourage more people to talk by requiring each participant to work as a team and support 1 day a week for a total of 5 weeks.

The Glow Up is here to assist any men (or women) who are economically inactive, at home, and keen to “get back out there”. Whether it be physical or mental barriers that previously stopped them in the past, we have all of the motivation and inspiration needed to empower them to make a positive step forward for the future.

Our hope is that if we can help an individual to recognise the positive impact that they can make on the world around them through the growing and nurturing of community green space – be it a garden, allotment or park – this should empower them to progress into further training. Giving them the believability in themselves to make the much-needed change they desire as a direct consequence of their community achievements.

But wait… there’s more!

To accompany our range of green space renovations, we’re also in the process of launching our Men’s Shed initiative. Green spaces are important for everyone to thrive but nothing beats having a little space to call your own. Especially when you’re a bloke. We’ve all heard of the ‘man caves’ – so we say why not the ‘Men’s Shed’? As part of the Community space renovations, we’ll also be encouraging men from all around the region to get involved in the sprucing up of sheds, greenhouses and garages – making these otherwise disused structures their own safe havens to potter, tinker and frequent to when they need a quiet moment or two.

We’re only scratching the surface of what we intend to do to support the communities we serve and our work to improve Men’s physical and mental health is a huge commitment we have pledged to – not just this week – but ALWAYS.

If you, or anyone you know who would benefit from the Community Glow Up or Men’s Shed projects then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us to find out more!

To all the men reading this, no matter what may be going on in your life, no matter how big or small, we are here for you, if you ever need to talk. We’re all in this life together and no one should ever have to suffer alone or suffer in silence.

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