The Men’s Table launched a Volunteer Development program this month as a way of expanding its successful service aimed at growing social connection and camaraderie among men.
The Men’s Table is an organised get-together over a meal with the same blokes, but with clear expectations of those taking part.
“We don’t just talk about footy and shit,” proclaimed a sign welcoming men to an information night on February 11 to kick of the Volunteer program.
The Sydney-based peer-to-peer organisation welcomed 27 men to give a hand and hear about The Men’s Table’s plans to grow its venture exponentially across Australia.
Co-founder David Pointon also interviewed ‘Suvi’ from the Balmain Men’s Table to find out what three things were working well in his dinner club.
Suvi said sticking to the 'Fundamentals' was important, referring to the Men’s Table’s set of guidelines for ensuring participants get the most out of their shared meals.
“If there is something that is going off track, we’ll actually refer back to it,” he reported.
“It’s fantastic that the group for the last seven or eight months has been using the fundamentals when we come together.”
Mobile phones were banned from the Balmain Men’s Table and a third ingredient strengthening each gathering was “no advising.”
Suvi said the men initially wanted to give advice after someone shared, but have become better at listening attentively.
“Our group doesn’t fix anything for anyone anymore, we don’t give advice to anyone anymore and I feel we’ve become good listeners.”
With two new tables opening up in Sydney and Canberra, The Men’s Table now has 24 tables meeting once a month, including in Perth, Melbourne and Launceston. Many of these tables are still welcoming new dinner guests, however the idea is that once a table is established the same men commit to turning up each month.
The first Men’s Table started in 2011 with David Pointon and Ben Huges inspired to find a way for men to connect and have heartfelt conversations.
Men’s Tables are initiated by two or more men who wish to form a group or join a new table, and tables are capped at 12. The groups are self-organising, however a set of guidelines or fundamentals has evolved to provide some ground rules.
The next series of entrée nights, where men can find out more about The Men’s Table movement and how to get involved – begin in March with details as follows:
Zoom March 8 from 6:50pm-8.30pm AEDT: Get Tickets ($5)
Paddington Men’s Table, Tuesday March 9 6.30m-9pm AEDT
London Hotel, Paddington
Get Tickets ($35)
Bundanoon Men’s Table, March 16 6.30pm-9pm AEDT
Bundanoon Hotel, NSW
Get Tickets ($35)
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