"Programs can be very successful if they take an active approach to the needs of men..."The subject of how to bring in more men to programs of all kinds is one that has been asked by many facilitators.
It can be challenging to find effective ways to target, reach out to and engage with men and often the resulting conclusion is that "men are not interested" or "men don't want to use our services".
However, the evidence is that programs can be very successful if they take an active approach to the needs of men. This booklet provides a useful guide to engaging with men in the setting of community and neighbourhood learning centres.
The section "Improving Male Participation" recommends:
Adopting a positive male-friendly image
- Use images of men and boys
- Have men available as workers in the centre
- Encourage local men's groups to make use of the centre
- Run programs about and by men
Consider what men need when marketing
- Male-friendly approaches
- Target where men hang out
- Involve men in planning and facilitating
- Have men write advertising and promotional material).
- Use a survey to assess what men need which can also prompt men to think about what they need
- Identify core issues around male health in your community and build around those
- Keep in mind that men may judge quality of service on price, so consider charging a fee
- Balance one-on-one versus group activities, perhaps offer both and assess what works
Courses and Activities
- Encourage male facilitators
- Offer courses that relate to men's needs - eg computer classes, home gardening, cooking or basic DIY
- Cross-promote between other venues eg clubs, pubs, sports, Men's Sheds
- Consider very short courses
- Invite local individuals and organisations to sponsor your events
- Consider a special Men's Comittee dedicated to male-friendly events
- Link in with local schools, daycare centres or other clubs to pool resources
- Partner with other service providers in the district
- Consider local Councils and their ability to pool resources
- Act as a referral centre to other providers