With International Men's Day 19th November focused on men's and boy's health including mental health issues, we spoke to Justin Donne from Hucknall Round Table about his experiences in Round Table and what it means to have a new close group of friends.
"Following a challenging separation, I was left feeling at my lowest. While they often say they don’t take sides, it ends up awkward, and so most local friends waned away. I felt abandoned, lonely, worthless and vulnerable. I'll be totally honest with you, I struggled to hang on.
"My good friend, and colleague, lent me his ear, and was kind enough to listen. His suggestion was simple: when he went through a similar travail many years ago, what helped him most was Round Table. He explained that Table is a social group of local men who get involved in lots of different activities, and would be a brilliant way to meet new friends. Plus, they help support local charities and causes and are really involved in the community. He invited me to check it out.
"From when I attended my first meeting, a programme night of Scalectrix electric mini car racing, I felt most welcomed by the Chairman, and looked after by the Membership Officer. I’ll never forget my first Round Table experience and I was hooked immediately. I quickly found a new group of local friends, that within a year grew into finding more around the area.
"Throughout the most challenging 2 years of my life, emotionally and in all else, I could count on the fun, fellowship, support, friendship, distraction, growth and development of Round Table. Moreover, the list of firsts I experienced is too long! I learned to drive a manual transmission car, I fenced, I shot a rifle (I know an American whose first time shooting a gun was in England clay pigeon shooting!) Of course, there was also my first-time rock climbing, rounders, or my first ride in a helicopter!
"Round Table takes you past your comfort zone, and thereby creates the best experiential learning and memories. I’ve got enough academic book learning and courses, no more needed. But I was missing the experiences, the hands-on practice. For example I was my Table Treasurer which provided great experience in finance, an area that I had never really been exposed to before.
"I travelled and found instant friends in Tablers from around the world. In Abu Dhabi and Dubai, I learned more from dinner with the Round Table members there, than in all my work there. In Starnberg, Germany, I saw my first medieval German village, and walked through the enchanted forest in the rain. Never would I have had these experiences without Table.
"Additionally Table provides the oportunity to support my local community through organising charity activities or raising money, all of which has been amazing and uplifting. My values have always been health, growth, and togetherness. I now bring them to Table, and I am so proud to be Area Chairman and I am looking forward to being involved more in Table, inviting new guys to enjoy every aspect like I have.
"What I’m saying is that Round Table doesn’t replace therapy when needed, but it sure helps you create a better life. Everyone has dark days and everyone can use a friend every now and again. I never met a Tabler I didn’t like and I know that so many other guys would love to be a part of an incredible worldwide social and community club."
Round Table provides men aged 18-45 fun, friendship and the chance to help support their community. Want to find out more? Click here.
Looking to contact a Table today and start your Table experience? Click here.