The 'SpeakEasy' are our very own men-only peer support groups operating across the Tees Valley. To find out more about the groups including location, dates and times, please click below on the respective location.
At the bottom of this page, we've got frequently asked questions (click them to see the answer) which may help you if you're wanting to come along and apply to all the groups, so take a look at those first.
In the future we do hope to expand these further afield but, for now, they are only taking place in those locations listed below.
Our Stockton group takes place at the award-winning Labyrinth Holistic Cafe. On its own, it's a fantastic project doing great things in the community. It's also got big comfy sofas and a relaxing vibe; the perfect place for a SpeakEasy.
Our group in Redcar takes place in Costa Coffee on Regents Walk (not the one in Tesco!). It's closed to the public so come along and talk openly in a safe, supportive and confidential environment. We'll even get you a brew!
Our Yarm group takes place at the delightful Mint Hobo, a unique coffee house at the heart of Yarm High Street. They'll be closed to the public, so you're free to enjoy their tea and coffee in peace (which is fantastic).
Our Middlesbrough group takes place in the centre of town and offer a relaxing space in an incredible location. We hold our groups at the far corner of the shop, next to the bookshelves.
If you can answer 'YES' to the next three questions, you are more than welcome to attend.
1. Do you identify as a man?
2. Are you 18 years of age or older?
3. Are you pissed off, stressed out, burned out or just down in the dumps?
If you can answer 'YES' to all of them, you're in! Obviously, given the adult (not THAT kind of adult) nature of the topics that may arise during these meetings, we can't allow anyone under 18 to attend. The only other exception is anyone classified as a 'Vunerable Adult'; in other words someone who is or may be for any reason unable to take care of himself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation. These would require specific care. What we offer, fundamentally, is peer support. People helping people in a non-clinical environment.
Your local CAMHS may have information about support for mental health in regard to children and young people in your area, but we're not one of them! In terms of vunerable adults, your local social services will be able to help in that regard. We're just for hairy-arsed blokes (non hairy-arses are also welcome as long as they're over 18 too).
No. Nothing at all. The meetings are completely FREE to those attending.
We do accept donations to help continue these groups beyond that via our Support Us page, but it's not mandatory to attend the meetings.
We will neither pressure nor expect you to donate anything.
Nah. Just come along.
Well the meetings themselves aren't - you're reading about them on a public website after all and we want people to know about them - but the conversations that take place within them most certainly are...or at least as much they can be.
We have a mantra for the meetings which goes like this
"What we say here, what we see here and what we hear here....stays here!"
There are, however, a couple of exceptions to that rule. If you tell us you are being abused, physically or sexually (or carrying out the abuse) or if you tell us you are going to hurt yourself and / or hurt someone else, then we are duty bound to contact the authorities. We hope we understand why that's important and it is non-negotiable. You can see a copy of our Safeguarding Policy by clicking here.
We want people to feel comfortable enough to be able to share their issues and be confident enough that anything they do share, or is shared by anyone else in the group, doesn't get discussed outside of that. Can we absolutely guarantee that 100%? Sadly not. No group can, but we need to be able to trust each other to get the most from it, so we have to believe that those attending buy into our ethos.
How much, or how little, you share is always up to you and would always recommend you don't divulge any personally identifiable information. You're not going to have to fill in reams of paperwork to attend and we believe everyone who comes is there for the right reasons. We're all just blokes trying to get by and do it with a sense of trust, respect and integrity for ourselves, and each other, and we give that freely to everyone who attends.
No. The main reason why we're not going to try and fix you is because you're not broken. You might be a little down, a tad stressed or maybe even a little bent out of shape, but you're not broken. We just want to help.
The SpeakEasy groups are designed to let men come together and get their problems (whatever they are) off their chest. When you talk about what's getting you down, others in the group might offer you some help based on their experiences, perhaps some advice and we can certainly support you and / or signpost you to places that can help you more, but you don't have to take any of it. It's all offered in the spirit of trying to make you feel better.
We also understand that taking that first step towards getting or asking for help can be incredibly hard, but by turning up at one of our groups, you've already done that. The next steps are so much easier.
Look, we absolutely understand that coming along might be a little daunting for some at first. We've all been there and totally get it. The thing is, everyone who comes along is there for the right reasons. You might not know them the first time you come, but you'll soon realise you're amongst friends in a safe, supportive envirnoment. We'll do everything we can to make you feel comfortable. There are no forms for you to fill in. We're not going to make you speak, in fact if you want to sit in the corner and say nothing at all, that's fine too. However you choose to be part of the group, how much you want to share, is completely down to you.
If you're still unsure, all we can say is come and try it once. The worst thing that's going to happen is you'll get a free cup of tea (or coffee). If you're STILL unconvinced by our words, then try this one simple question to work out if the SpeakEasy is for you....