Men’s tales

Canning Times - - NEWS -

El­derly Wil­son men have con­trib­uted to a new book about the sto­ries told dur­ing group sup­port ses­sions.

A SUP­PORT ses­sion aimed at en­cour­ag­ing el­derly men to come out of their shell has pro­vided the con­tent for a new book.

Cir­cle of Men is based on au­thor Ross Prout’s ex­pe­ri­ences with the Cir­cle of Men groups he is in­volved with at Catholic Homes’ res­i­den­tial care fa­cil­i­ties in Wil­son, Dun­craig, Bal­divis, Bel­mont, East Perth and Bun­bury.

The book fea­tures 16 sto­ries from res­i­dents in­volved in the Cir­cle of Men ses­sions, which gives them the chance to talk about any­thing and ev­ery­thing, from tales of their past to their cur­rent feel­ings.

Prout said the cir­cle was built on trust and em­pa­thy, with par­tic­i­pants al­lowed to share as much or as lit­tle as they wanted.

“We tried to re­spect guys might want to tell some very or­di­nary sto­ries, but we said to them from the out­set, ev­ery­thing which is said in the cir­cle stays in the cir­cle,” he said.

“If you want to talk about some­thing closer to your heart, like the death of a loved one or your own anx­i­ety about your de­clin­ing health, we’re open to hear that.

“Some guys have made them­selves quite vul­ner­a­ble and talked about stuff both­er­ing them and the other men have been re­ally re­spect­ful of that.” The As­cot res­i­dent said it oc­curred to him some of the sto­ries were worth writ­ing down and af­ter ask­ing for per­mis­sion to share their sto­ries, worked with the men to make sure every de­tail was re­counted re­spect­fully. “Some of the sto­ries in the book weren’t told in their en­tirety in the cir­cle, but a guy would say some­thing and I’d think ‘that’d be in­ter­est­ing,’” he said. “When I heard Jimmy from Col­lie’s story, I thought ‘I want to tease that out of him’ so I went and sat down with him one-on-one. “There were times when a guy told a story and I thought ‘that’s an il­lus­tra­tion of a man’s re­silience and courage’ and then there’d be an­other story told about an­other time, so I’ve wo­ven them to­gether.”

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son

d486532 Ross Prout has re­counted tales from a men’s group.

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