"The Wairarapa Men's Group is a wonderful addition to the cultural tapestry of the Wairarapa.
It is a place for men to share, to be supported and supporting. The culture and rituals, while not formal, allow for free and frank discussion and for all manner of people to feel connected to one another.
It is a fabulous resource for men to connect with other men in a secular, non-judgemental way."
AW, business owner, Carterton
"I have been to most of the group meetings since they started and find them something to look forward to. Men talking to other men and no but no bullshit. Some good bonds have been made, so much so that I am starting one in Masterton, to be run on the same lines. I think there is a need for these groups as it allows men to express what they really think without being judged."
PJ - Business owner, Masterton
"Awesome and helpful camaraderie (comradeship/fellowship) among people with all sorts of issues. Indispensable bonding group so men don't feel isolated and think no help is available to them."
MM - Teacher, Masterton
"We moved to the Wairarapa recently and within the first year my husband and I married and had our first child. These big changes left both of us needing lots of support. My husband works full-time and being new in town he felt quite isolated. We sensed that he needed more men who'd experienced what we were going through. We were so lucky that at about that time the men's group started.
I feel it has had a huge impact on our family. My husband finds support for his social and emotional needs and can talk from the heart about issues that he was so relieved to find, many other men struggle with too. When he comes home from the meetings, he is visibly different. His eyes are lit up. He’s smiling. He appears filled up and satisfied, like when you’ve really been seen and heard by your peers. Gradually he's found opportunities to support other men and he's made many connections and friends. Even through lockdown the group met on zoom which was incredible.
As a family unit, when one person struggles we all feel it. Now that my husband has a confidential place where he can share his heart and hold that space for others, he's a better father and partner. As the result, our whole family benefits. As more and more men join and connect this way our whole community becomes stronger. We are deeply grateful for the men’s group."
SB - Wife of one of the participants
"I have personally benefitted from attending the Group. It was a big step for me to go out on a work-night and get away from my office. It has been well worth it. Thanks to the Group I have been associating with one of the members and including him in my regular Sunday walks on the mountain. We both benefit from our shared time. Essentially we have a group of three of us who have been supporting each other and having regular meals together and getting onto the mountain. This is now expanding to a fourth. So the Men’s Group has helped bring people together to share, essentially, our problems with women and to speak about matters of faith."
CS - Finance advisor, Masterton