‘Bro­ken’ man healed at men’s net­work

Hamilton Press - - COMMUNITY COOKBOOK - KEL­LEY TANTAU

Moses Cher­ring­ton re­mem­bers the ex­act date of his stroke: Septem­ber 19 2010.

He stayed in hospi­tal for six weeks but af­ter ar­riv­ing back at his home in Hamil­ton he sat on the sofa and did not much else.

‘‘Every­thing changed, (he was) just so bro­ken,’’ his wife Renu said.

It was Moses’s first stroke, and it left him un­able to drive. He lost his li­cence and his job shortly af­ter.

‘‘Sud­denly af­ter 20 years every­thing fell on me. I didn’t go any­where, I stopped invit­ing peo­ple over. He was there and sud­denly he changed.’’

‘‘We al­ways had a good mar­riage but it was the stroke and med­i­ca­tion. He would just sit on the sofa,’’ Renu said.

But af­ter de­cid­ing to make a first step, Moses and Renu at­tended an open day of the MATES Men’s Net­work in Hamil­ton.

MATES aims to lower the ris­ing rates of sui­cide, fam­ily vi­o­lence, de­pres­sion, health chal­lenges and low self-es­teem through sup­port­ive en­vi­ron­ments for open com­mu­ni­ca­tion and en­cour­age­ment.

They meet ev­ery Thurs­day in

The MATES Net­work aims to lower the ris­ing rates of sui­cide.

Hamil­ton at the Western Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, 46 Hyde Ave, Naw­ton. Meet­ings run from 7pm to 9.30pm, and Renu and Moses said the ex­pe­ri­ence was ‘‘eye­open­ing’’.

Moses said the men at the cen­tre were young and old, from all walks of life. He said it was a place to go that any­one could be a part of.

MATES chief ex­ec­u­tive Kerry Bab­bage said when men start to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for their ac­tions it cre­ates a com­mu­nity.

‘‘It was quite dif­fer­ent, en­trust­ing your to­tal self to strangers,’’ Moses said.

He calls it ‘‘dump­ing the load’’, but to dump you need to have the trust to share, he said.

‘‘ Come and try it out,’’ Moses said. ‘‘Guys are in this black hole and don’t know what to do. MATES Men’s is the light at the end of the tun­nel.’’

The net­work has also launched a ra­dio pro­gramme on Free FM 89.0 to fur­ther help men. The show is re­played on Mon­days at 9pm, Bab­bage said.

MATES Men’s Net­work chief ex­ec­u­tive Kerry Bab­bage with Moses and Renu Cher­ring­ton. PHOTO: KEL­LEY TANTAU/FAIRFAX NZ

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