Community Cash helps boys in Norwich become men

A community group that helps young men on the challenging journey from adolescence to manhood has welcomed new members thanks to a Community Cash grant.

Norwich-based MensCraft runs an activity and mentoring programme to give 18 to 26-year-olds positive and responsible male role models, and is run on a voluntary basis by professionals from other support agencies.

The group was handed �1,000 last year, which allowed Menscraft to run taster Pathfinder days for people interested in the six-month Journey Into Manhood (JIM) programme.

That course provides one-on-one mentoring as well as a series of 'rites of passage' initiation skills for young men, designed to build their self-esteem while meeting new friends and having fun.

Andy Wood, of MensCraft, said the Community Cash grant had allowed more than 20 young men to take part in the Pathfinder Days.

'We take the group to the countryside for some bushcraft skills, nature awareness and team-building, and teach them how to build a fire – the traditional skills that are being lost these days,' he said.

'The days usually end with a discussion where we talk about what it means to be a man these days.

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'We feel on the whole that men are struggling to keep up with their changing role. Boys underperform at school, are seen to cause a lot of anti-social behaviour, and have higher suicide levels than girls. We believe they need more support than they currently receive, and the Community Cash grant has allowed us to make the services available to even more boys and young men.'

Voluntary groups, social enterprises and charities in the Norwich City Council local authority area have the chance to benefit from Community Cash again this year. The Evening News, working with the Norfolk Community Foundation and Sport Relief, has another �50,000 to give away in grants of up to �1,000 in 2012.

To find out more about Sport Relief Community Cash, see or call 01603 623958.