This month will see Top Blokes Foundation partner with Waterford by AVID Property Group (AVID) to champion Men’s Health Week (14−20 June), and create a safe and supportive place for young men in the community.

Top Blokes Foundation is one of the 2021 Waterford Community Grant recipients, with funding enabling them to offer a professional Mentoring Program for high school students with the purpose of providing mental health support for young men.

Top Blokes Foundation Head of Programs and Operations Amy Harvison said they work with high schools to provide an 18-week mentoring program that provides evidence-based social education and support as well as strategies and solutions for challenges that young men typically face.

“We’re incredibly grateful to have funding from Waterford that enables us to grow and expand our program,” Ms Harvison said.

“We do have some state government funding in the Maitland area that has supported our growth to a certain degree but getting additional funding through AVID has allowed us to grow even further.

Top Blokes Foundation has seen strong anecdotal evidence that boys respond positively to the program, assert healthier ideas around their mental wellbeing, critique the traditional concept of masculinity and become upstanders and ambassadors in their schools and communities.

“One of the most exciting results of the program is seeing several young men go on to become youth ambassadors for Top Blokes – they get to develop leadership skills and be advocates for something they believe in,” Ms Harvison said.

“Many students at the schools we work with do live in or nearby the Waterford community, so it’s a real pleasure to have this working relationship with AVID. We’re looking forward to doing some events with them in the future to further raise awareness around young men’s health.”

AVID Project Director New South Wales Nathan Huon said the Waterford team was very passionate about showing their support for Top Blokes Foundation and providing meaningful and engaging opportunities for the local community.

“It’s well known that there is still a lot of social stigma around men’s health and how they should deal with health issues which is why we’re really keen to support Top Blokes Foundation and the meaningful work they’re doing,” Mr Huon said.

“With so many families with school-age children living at Waterford, our working relationship with Top Blokes Foundation is just another way we can create a supportive community here.

“We’re very much looking forward to seeing Top Blokes Foundation grow and continue to be active in the Maitland community, and of course to continue to work closely with them.”