Dudes & Dogs walking scheme relaunches to tackle men’s mental health problems
The Dudes & Dogs walking scheme, which aims to encourage men to speak up about their mental health, has relaunched in the local area.
The initiative initially began in Bristol, and opened up to men all over the country after experiencing huge success.
Trained ‘Dog Dudes’ host the walks – which are totally free – accompanied by a dog or two. Covid-19 guidelines are adhered to, with social distancing in place and a maximum of six participants permitted on the walk.
All Dog Dudes are fully qualified and internationally accredited Mental Health First Aiders.
Simon Dendle, the event organiser and ‘Dog Dude’ for the area, said: “Having experienced the effects of huge changes to my personal situation a number of years ago, I realised that my mental health was not in a good place. I knew I had to do something, but at the time I wasn’t sure what.
“The open air has always been my go-to place when I needed some space or a chance to try and de-stress. I was finding it hard to talk to friends – everyone’s lives change and odd working hours were making catching up tricky.
“I was lucky enough to meet someone in a similar boat, and we went off on a 10-day self-sufficient adventure. It was here I discovered just how important it is to take some time to look after yourself, and talk about your problems and concerns.
“Last year I could feel the same. I had just set up my own business and balancing everything was getting hard. I came across Dudes and Dogs, and once again, by talking it helped me to get some problems and worries off my chest.
“By hosting the walks in Lincolnshire, I get to get outside and get some fresh air, my dog Jasper gets to go completely wild on the beach, and it gives guys an ideal opportunity to talk if they want.
“I think with the last 12 months, it’s even more important to take some time to focus on you – get outside and away from technology, work, and anything else that causes you stress. A walk and talk is ideal.”
The walks will be held every Sunday from 10am on Humberston Fitties Beach.
To find out more information and get involved, click here.