Introducing the Mr Hastings and St Leonards project

Research shows that life expectancy for men in Hastings and St Leonards is significantly lower than the national average. There have been many great initiatives across the borough that have made a real difference to individual men’s health and wellbeing. However, this hasn’t changed the bigger picture around men’s life expectancy locally.

To help address this, an innovative project has started working alongside local men in Hastings and St Leonards. The Mr Hastings and St Leonards project aims to:

  • Enable local men to collaborate and connect with local services and community groups.
  • Build on local assets in the community.
  • Create long lasting change.

The Mr Hastings and St Leonards project is based on the belief that men in the area will live happier, healthier, and longer lives if they are at the heart of decision making and live in strong, supportive, and well-connected communities, where they can fulfil their potential.

Local men are leading the work alongside the project team and the project steering group.

Over the first year, the team has focused on listening to and involving local men. The information and learning they have gathered will inform the next steps.

Some of the achievements across the first year include:

  • Hearing from over 500 people through a combination of an online survey, researcher conversations, and hearing from community groups, individual men, and organisations. This has helped to understand cross cutting themes affecting men in the area, such as views on masculinity, mental health, seeking help, community connections, social life, and relationships.
  • Hosting workshops and learning events and creating the Hastings and St Leonards Men’s Health and Wellbeing Forum.
  • Launch of the ‘Men’s Room’ podcast and social media channels.
  • Creating a core group of Men’s Champions who co-designed the project brand and will work with the project team to take forward the next phase.
  • Developing a powerful and inspiring film with local men sharing their stories about their own mental health and wellbeing. The film is called ‘Men Don’t Talk?’, and will be screened for anyone who wishes to attend, at Central Hall in Hastings on Thursday 25th April (6pm-8pm).

With men from Hastings and St Leonards leading the way, a men’s movement is beginning to emerge which will last into the future, looking at how they can influence change to improve men’s health and wellbeing. Central to this will be collaboration between the voluntary, community and public sector, and sharing of learning between men and health and care organisations.

If you’d like to learn more or get involved, you can:

You can also find a range of local health and wellbeing information on the project web page.

The Mr Hastings and St Leonards project is funded by East Sussex County Council Public Health and Hosted by Hastings Voluntary Action.