Working With Men is a charity supporting positive male activity, engagement and involvement, our current work includes solution based approaches to tackling conflict and knife related incidents in schools and in the community, Raising the attainment levels of boys in school, Support for single mothers of boys, fatherhood and fathers into school programmes, tackling racial violence and issues of identity among young people. More recently we have begun working with women’s groups on issues related to safer relationships conflict and mediation.
Since Working With Men (WWM) was founded in 1988 there has been a steady growth in the professional interest and public concern about men, particularly the new challenges they face in the 21st century and a perceived ‘crisis in masculinity’. The last decade has seen a dramatic expansion of policy and practice initiatives seeking to address these new challenges. At WWM we have both responded to the rising interest and initiated new developments in work with young men and boys by focusing on key issues such as: fatherhood and parenting, education and under-achievement, health (including sexual health and mental well-being), issues that impact BME (black and ethnic minority) men, employment/unemployment and training, violence and crime, and relationships with women.
Our work is based on a number of key principles:
- Our work is evidence based and practice-led, rather than ideology or theory-led. Our training and consultancy work primarily aims to support others to develop their own practice.
- We address the issues related both to resistance 'in men' and 'towards men'. So, for example, within men's health, we look at the decision making processes that stop men using primary healthcare services as well as any negative attitudes, stereotypes and fears that primary healthcare workers may have of men.
- We underpin our work with an understanding of masculinities. Regardless of whether the issue is fatherhood, sexual health, underachievement or criminality. We are interested in why boys and young men do what they do, and what we can do about it. However, this understanding of masculinity includes a view that there are a variety of (sometimes competing) masculinities which are determined by race, class, sexuality, disability, geography, religion and culture and that we will grapple with the differences within our own work and encourage others to do the same.
Within a positive approach to working with men, we support individuals and groups of men and advocate on their behalf, whilst also developing work and strategies that address racism, sexism and homophobia in particular and oppression in general.
WWM are also an Open College Network accreditation centre devising training programmes and units for OCN ranging from modules aimed at single mothers/carers (Boys Development programme (formerly raising boys) and health care professionals working in the field to very successful expectant fathers courses in hospitals and other settings.