Further extracts from the findings of the impact report conducted by Ruth Jackson are detailed below.
I have already raised the issue of the importance and value of connection and friendship in the context of RTBI but I feel it important to make some very important and specific comments about the value of Table where members might be experiencing extremely poor mental health and very high levels of distress. In this sample of conversations several individuals referred to periods in which they or another Table member were considering ending their lives due to difficulties they were experiencing.
They were able to categorically state that the existence of Table and the network of men ready and willing to offer immediate support, to get alongside them and help them get through was what ultimately made the difference in choosing to continue with their life rather than to end it.
This is a huge and important positive impact the value of which is monumental across lives, families and generations.
Hidden Capability & Capacity
In discussing and considering future roles and activities that RTBI, in all its parts, might wish to develop or support, members would do well to fully understand and value their ability to listen to, engage with and mobilise local people and resources. At times of great hardship, difficulty and trauma, an organisation with loyal, able, committed and connected members, able to access a range of other diverse resources represents an amazing national asset.
Evidence of this is within the stories we have included but are also demonstrated in the language and character of individual members. Tablers speak with huge regard, affection and trust for Table as a whole. They are deeply connected to their friends in their own area Tables but this naturally extends to other Tables and members, not just within this Table framework but across the world. This highly accessible connected capability and capacity is what has generated significant impact across communities so far, but also has the potential for further exploration going forward.
Play-fullness & Laughter
Our current culture has largely lost it respect for the very important part that "play" has in the development of all human beings. We are now inclined to see it as a distractor for children rather than the crucible of the majority of social, emotional, cultural and creative development it actually is.
Sectioned and analysed we now know playing and playfullness not only teaches us new skills in a relatively safe environment but is also great for bonding and stress relief throughout the course of our lives.
In this respect much of what I heard from Table Members seemed to reflect an organisation that is actively embracing a sense of fun, creating positive space for this play-fullness, banter and camaraderie. Out of this atmosphere comes an almost magnetic energy to drive activity forward and one that attracts Members and extends impact at an individual and collective level.
At a time of extreme polarisation, when conversations are too often about what divides us and the challenges ahead may be the worst for several generations, it is wonderful to see and hear about an organisation so committed to being human. To doing what it takes in extremes but also knowing how to laugh and to care for one another.
Round Table (RTBI) is a young man / men's club for those aged between 18 and 45. RTBI supports charities, the local community and its individual members through friendship and brotherhood. As part of the Round Table Family, RTBI is an inclusive organisation open to all individuals no matter their age or gender identification. To find out more visit our FAQs page or Contact Us.