Oasis Community Centre
'Men On The Edge'
Oasis Community Centre and Gardens is a registered charity based in the middle of a disadvantaged estate community in Worksop, North Nottinghamshire. Eleven years ago they took on a 2 acre derelict site and turned in to a Community Centre, park and garden, serving the local communities who still are in a place of deprivation due to the demise of the Coalfields and other local industries.
The centre today is an all age, multi-facetted, Community Hub, a centre for projects, groups, events, workshops, courses and, most importantly, a safe space for all. They currently run over 30 inclusive projects for children, young people, young adults, women and men, elderly and specialist groups, and volunteering programmes. They have been trying to restore a community pride and identity and now see over 10,000 people visit the Oasis Centre and Gardens annually.
They recently opened 'The Edge’ and have established a number of projects there including the ‘Men On The Edge.’ Many men are in crisis or suffering in the Bassetlaw area. There were 12 suicides locally in the last 2 years - all male.
There are huge problems for men within the community; unemployment, health, disability, poverty and mental health issues as well as a lack of available and accessible support. Three local pubs have also closed in the last few years leaving few places for men to meet. Problems of loneliness and isolation among men have also been heightened during the pandemic so, having identified the lack of facilities and support for men of all ages, they set about trying to make a difference.
The 'Men On The Edge' Project aims to provide a safe space where men of all ages can go, find practical help and interests which will;
- give them therapeutic and educational support,
- help improve their health and wellbeing, and
- encourage them to take new directions and to learn new skills and abilities.
They have drop-in sessions, specialist groups, workshops, skills share opportunities, befriending programmes, courses, counselling and practical support with food, clothing, and essential items. They also put on Men’s breakfasts and Sports/social nights.
They are working with men who are unemployed, facing retirement, have disabilities, long term illness (dementia and Parkinson’s, for example), mental health issues, social isolation and loneliness, financial and social poverty, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, bereavement, men on probation, and veterans.
They also run ‘MANSS’ (Male Abuse Notts Survivor Support) which supports male victims of historic or current sexual or domestic abuse and trauma through violence. Oasis take referrals from a number of different local agencies including the Job Centre, Social Prescribers, Citizen’s Advice, Local GP’s Surgeries, Probation services and also self-referrals.
Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn the light on.