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Men Up North

2102. Angga Kara

Angga Kara, from Sheffield, is a mindfulness coach who established ‘Men Up North’ in 2017 after losing three of his friends to suicide.

Through the initiative, Angga has provided free coaching sessions and weekly support groups for over 2,500 men with mental health difficulties, as well as hosting activities such as running an allotment, cycling trips, and mindfulness retreats. The weekly sessions are free and open to all and are designed to be a safe space for men to have honest, open and non-judgmental discussions related to mental health, with a range of attendees of different ages and backgrounds.

As part of the network’s future vision, they are fundraising to become custodians of part of a local forest. This forms one of their aims to increase accessibility to nature for those from ethnic minority backgrounds, or who may have financial difficulties getting to green spaces, as well as improving mental health.

In a personal letter to Angga, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

“I was moved to hear about the terrible loss of three of your friends and how you reacted with a determination to help others. Through ‘Men Up North‘ you have drawn on your professional coaching skills to open your arms to the community and provide a safe space where men can talk openly about their wellbeing.”

Angga said:

“Surprised and humbled by the recognition of the charity’s work. It started as heartbreak when three of my male friends died by suicide in one year and I wanted somehow to help. ‘Men Up North’ now has a diverse community of men from the ages of 18-72 from 14 different heritage backgrounds. May this award help grow the charity and create more collaborations in the future to help men to connect better to themselves, others and nature.”

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