BLOG: Men’s Day Out: It’s good to talk

Men’s Day Out: It’s good to talk

Chat, chew the fat, put the world to rights, whatever you do, it’s good to talk.

Men, it’s good to talk. We’re masters at masking how we really feel, even when we’ve lost someone we care deeply about.

Sharing our feelings can make a big difference, and Men’s Day Out offers a great opportunity to drop the brave face and open up to others in the same boat.

Dave Gundry, 54, from Liskeard, will be striding the streets of Plymouth on Saturday 11 March along with hundreds of other like-minded men.

With two decades of work in men’s mental health, Dave has witnessed the changing face and increasing recognition of mental health in men, fully embracing the ‘it’s good to talk’ nature. He looks upon the event as the opportunity to put his skillset and background to good use, in order to help any men who might be suffering in silence.

“During my time on the walk, if someone speaks to me I may be able to help them understand more about some mental health issues that maybe they don’t understand or if they don’t know where to turn to for advice, while also sharing my experience of grief and St Luke’s.”

Like many of the men who will be making big strides for St Luke’s, Dave will be walking in memory of two special loved ones. His father and close family friend and best friend of his wife, Lianne, who was looked after by St Luke’s at our specialist unit at Turnchapel and at home, after a terminal cancer diagnosis.

“During the time we visited her and when she came home briefly in between stays, she was full of praise for all the staff and was telling us how some staff would call in to see how she was doing. Despite not being her carer for the day they would just pop in to cheer her up and make her laugh, always going the extra mile.”

Men's Day out

Dave was the first of our Men’s Day Out participants to get his JustGiving page up and running. The money he and all our walkers raise through sponsorship means we can keep our teams out in the community, providing the highest calibre of care for our patients and their families, ensuring no one has to die alone and that they can have comfort and dignity until the end.

It was Dave’s group of friends, known as the ‘Friday Team’ that first suggested Men’s Day Out to him, having completed it multiple times themselves. Unfortunately, the timing wasn’t to be, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Dave’s father growing ill and passing. So it wasn’t until last year that he was finally able to take part.

Along with Dave, many of his teammates – who vary in ages from their 20s to 70s – have experienced the care and support St Luke’s provides first-hand, through family members or friends, making Men’s Day Out the opportune time to walk, talk and share.

“I wanted to do it again this year, to try to raise some more money and awareness and also in the hope that some of the people I met and talked with last year I may bump into again and get an update on how they are doing. I think it’s a wonderful event and to mix raising funds for St Luke’s with raising awareness for men’s mental health works really well.

“Oh and it would be a bit unjust if I didn’t say that of course some good laughs and great company of like-minded people and rugby all thrown in were a bit persuasive too…”

Visit Dave’s fundraising page to find out more about his fundraising journey https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/david-gundry1

Like Dave, you have the opportunity to discover a special bond with friends old and new as you stride a scenic 12km (7.5 mile) route through the city and waterfront. Winding up at Plymouth Albion, you’ll be ready to tuck into a well-earned pasty, enjoy a welcome beverage and cheer the local boys as they clash with the Rams from Reading.

If you’ve already got your place for Men’s Day Out, sponsored by Jem Scaffolding Ltd, now is the time to set up your JustGiving page just like Dave. Not only do the funds you raise make a massive difference to our end-of-life care, but the camaraderie you’ll find on the road can also work wonders if you’re struggling with loss. Click here to get your page up and running.

Sign up for Men’s Day Out now and make mindful miles matter for St Luke’s.