AN opportunity to walk and talk on Sunday mornings has established connections among the men of Kilmore, says organiser Phillip Collings.
While the walks have been temporarily put on hold due to the reintroduction of COVID-19 restrictions, Mr Collings said the two walks that went ahead made for ‘some great conversations’.
The walk was an idea Mr Collings had after watching a segment of morning television. A concept called ‘The Man Walk’ was introduced in NSW and spread like wildfire across Australia.
The Man Walk provides a positive, supportive and inclusive environment for men to walk, talk and support one another, and encourages them to speak up when they need help.
“I saw it on Sunrise and thought I’d follow it up. I approached The Man Walk community directly and set up the walk from there,” Mr Collings said.
“I set up a Facebook page, The Man Walk – Kilmore, and sort of followed on from there to all local community pages.
“It’s exciting because now the ladies want to get onto it as well.”
Mr Collings said there was no commitment to the group, and it was just an opportunity to speak.
“The main thing is we don’t ask for anything. So there are no memberships, and you don’t have to join, you just turn up and go for a walk,” he said.
“There are no expectations. We meet on the corner near Kemps Bakery, and we do it so some people can stay and get a coffee and finish conversations they started.”
Mr Collings said the walk was important because men were often reluctant to speak up about their struggles.
“It’s about getting blokes to talk to each other, because they don’t do it. We don’t talk to each other and we don’t talk on an emotional level,” he said.
“And when we walk they don’t have to talk, but it’s good to be connected and with other people because it does make a difference.
“I think it works so well because we’re looking forward and not looking at each other for reactions. It’s like when you sit at a camp fire, it gets the really deep conversations going.”
Mr Collings said the walks were temporarily on hold until restrictions were eased, but he hoped to get the group going again as soon as possible.
He posted to ‘The Man Walk – Kilmore’ Facebook page saying the group had gained momentum.
“Unfortunately we need to pause for a time due to lockdown laws. I will keep myself across the regulations and as soon as possible we will resume our walks,” he said.
“Our Facebook page The Man Walk – Kilmore will be regularly updated and I will try to post things of interest. We welcome all men whether you want to walk or not, to join us. Please feel free to contact me with anything at all.
“Stay safe, look after yourself physically and emotionally, this will end and we will be back.”
For more information on the walks, visit ‘The Man Walk – Kilmore’ Facebook page.