Stories of Men: Beneath the Surface

Stories of Men: Beneath the Surface

By Alex Melia

Traditional ideas of masculinity are dead, and now men struggle to find their place in the world. In Stories of Men, Alex Melia speaks to men who’ve overcome challenging circumstances to find out what they’ve learned about being a man in today’s world. Each guest shares a story from their life that has had a big impact on them. Alex Melia is a businessman and podcaster from Atherton, Greater Manchester. He has built a business which now employs over 30 people. Ten years in, and the company sustains him without his involvement. He now travels the world on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. This podcast was previously Our Voices.

Episodes

The last chance to guide a troubled young boy into adulthood

Tim was a social worker and started to work with a young boy who had no experience of being told what to do. He committed a crime and he was about to go face-to-face with a magistrate, so Tim felt he had some responsibility to help the boy and do whatever he could.All his efforts didn’t make any difference, and after being reprimanded, the young boy boldly threw a pencil at the magistrate’s face. This was now his final chance.Tim’s training didn’t prepare him for that. What did he say to finally get through to the boy? Could it be that the experience of being a man might be the very connection he needed to use to help this boy to change?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Tim. His eloquence and thoughtful reflection on the meaning and importance of connection is both refreshingly honest and insightful. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
27/02/24·31m 1s

The magic of three friends coming together in a hospital room

Anthony was 29 years old when he received the news that his best friend, David, was severely  ill.The news left him in shock and it proved to be  a life changing moment for him.Anthony and David had known each other since they were both 8 years old. They’d played together at school and they would relive the energy and innocence of those days every time they met. Yet, at the tender age of just 29, David was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Anthony wasn’t ready to face that situation with one of the most important people in his life. But who ever is ready for something like that?Today we discover how Anthony came to terms with this loss,while asking, what is it that a man goes through when he loses his best friend? And how can we be more appreciative of the male friendships in our lives?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Anthony. His energy, generosity, and courageousness in talking about such a tragic experience is inspirational. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.[Original air date: December 6th, 2022]*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
20/02/24·19m 13s

Moments from the edge: The kindness that brought a man back to life

Luke was at a party with his girlfriend surrounded by his closest friends. He was smiling and laughing and appeared to be having a great time. But, after this moment of celebration, it was his intention to say goodbye. Nobody else knew it but he wanted to take his life that same night.Before taking his life, Luke is driven to make a phone call to a man who he hadn’t spoken to in a long time. He is also being watched by a kind stranger who can see that something isn’t right.  How will the kindness of an old friend and a perfect stranger unite to save Luke’s life? And will Luke eventually be able to appreciate how much he has to live for?Today we will discover the importance of kindness. We will also see how necessary it is for men to speak out when they are at their most desperate.Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Luke Scott. His frankness, courage and generosity in sharing such a painful story is an inspiration to behold. It also provides a vital insight into how pivotal kindness can be as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world. [Original air date: November 1st, 2022]*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test
13/02/24·25m 53s

When football fans and a wheel clamper collide

Daniel Collins was a slight 18-year-old boy who was travelling around the country clamping cars. He hated the job but his father seemed to relish it. One day, they clamped the car of a man that showed up with confrontation in his mind. The man was with 14 of his friends and started to scream and shout. In a split second, the whole situation turned violent and Daniel made a mistake that put his dad on the edge of dying.How did things move so fast? And would Daniel ever be able to go back to his job after what had happened?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Daniel Collins. His honesty, resolve and courage in reliving such a horrific and terrifying moment is a sign of genuine strength and is profoundly appreciated. It also provides a vital insight as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world. [Original air date: October 25th, 2022]Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
06/02/24·22m 1s

The night out that turned into a tabloid shaming

Ross was the life and soul of the party. Working as a national radio presenter, he was able to hang out with the rich and famous at awards ceremonies and red carpet events. But he was hiding a secret: his struggle with social anxiety.For years Ross had attempted to deal with his anxiety by masking it with alcohol, but he knew that this was only going to cause him deeper problems in the end. This realisation became crystal clear when he found himself waking up stinking of spirits and cigarettes and suffering with a splitting headache. He turned on his phone and it immediately erupted with countless notifications.At first his memory was hazy but then it began to dawn on him exactly what he had been up to the previous night.Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Ross. His thoughtful and honest reflections on what led to his dependence on alcohol are eye-opening and will be highly relatable to all men who struggle with fitting in. They also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
30/01/24·26m 46s

Where is my dad? How absent fathers shape men

It was a day out with the family. Despite not knowing where they were going, Paul and his brother were extremely excited to be taken out by their relatives; they didn’t usually get taken out at all. Like two “coiled springs” they leaped out of the car as soon as it pulled up. Soon after they were bundled into a Victorian, stone building. They marched up the steps, excited about what they would find once they reached the top. Eventually they emerged into a room where there was an abundance of individuals bustling around. At first everything was unfamiliar but it was with great surprise that Paul would see a face that he recognised  behind a wall of glass: the man who should’ve been his role model.Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Paul. His open and stirring reflections on what it is like trying to be a good man without having a good role model are both affecting and inspiring. They also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test
23/01/24·21m 40s

On your death bed: what would you change?

He was lying in bed, restless, in a fever, struggling to catch his breath. He was shivering one moment and then attempting to kick off his duvet the next.He saw a woman coming through the door. She switched on the light. It made him feel confused, anxious. The expression on her face was grave. She told him that what she saw in front of her was a pale, old, withered man. She was worried that he may not make it through the night. In response, all Ketan could say was “Don’t send me to hospital. Don’t send me to hospital”.What had led Ketan to enter such a vulnerable state? And in what ways would experiencing this vulnerability change Ketan’s perspective going forward?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Ketan. His stark and harrowing description of experiencing illness and needing support are both unsettling and enlightening. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world. *********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
16/01/24·23m 14s

The long journey from emotional breakdown to recovery - Throwback episode

Darren openly discusses the plethora of negative feelings that contributed to his emotional breakdown on his way to work. He was working in finance. It was an industry that had provided him with the good life. However, he knew that something deep down was not right. He had been drinking too much and struggling to sleep at night. All of this came to a head on one fateful morning. “I physically stopped. I stopped and I looked at this big glass building and these big doors that I've walked in so many times. I couldn't. It was as if my legs had grown roots.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
11/01/24·28m 33s

Sky-diving: a rush of blood to the head

The air was so chillingly cold that he could feel it in his bones. The billowing and the roaring around him was so loud that he was unable to hear. As he stood there waiting for the inevitable, his nerves prevented him from being able to speak. He had travelled thousands of miles for this moment and there was no question of turning back now.Isaac is a man who is used to taking on challenges. As someone with complex disabilities, he has spent his life overcoming obstacles and finding a way to achieve his ambitions. His contributions as a community advocate have seen him rewarded with an MBE for his efforts. But this was a challenge like no other he had yet faced.Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Isaac. His story of determination and bravery is as remarkable as it is inspirational. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
09/01/24·25m 58s

Maintaining a marriage whilst moving round the world

For David, the dream was just beginning. He and his wife were in their early 20s and had just moved from Canada to Switzerland to start a new adventure.At work, David was also having the time of his life. At the end of one of his first projects, he went to lunch with a client. The restaurant boasted breath-taking views and the client treated him to the  finest wine he had ever tasted. He bounded home, eager to tell his wife about the amazing day he’d had. But when he entered the house and called her name, nobody answered.He went into the bedroom to look for her and what he discovered forced him to completely re-evaluate the experience that he had believed both he and his wife were having.Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, David. His reflective and self-critical observations on the importance of controlling one’s ego and becoming more empathetic are both enlightening and valuable. They also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test
02/01/24·22m 29s

How a former soldier dealt with grief after the horrors of war - Christmas Throwback episode

Here is a special re-released episode of Stories of Men for the Christmas period.You’re a soldier driving through a warzone. You pass through a deserted village. Later you see a lonely crucifix in a field. You find out what it symbolises: one night all of the people in the village were dragged outside of their homes and executed. How do you react? Do you dare to show emotion? Do you dare to show compassion?Jed Irving was a man’s man. He had been trained to keep his emotions in check. He didn’t react to finding out about the village massacre. He suppressed his feelings. But, years later,  that memory from the past was triggered. This time he felt a depth of compassion he had not been able to access before. But would Jed finally allow himself to express the emotions he had previously denied?Today we discover how Jed dealt with being confronted by the past. And ask, has Jed’s perception of masculinity changed as he has grown older? And what does it truly mean to be a “tough guy” in the 21st century?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Jed Irving. His vulnerability, openness and sincerity in talking about bearing witness to such a tragic scene shows inspirational courage. It also provides meaningful reflection as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test
26/12/23·25m 18s

Kick off! When tensions spill over in football

It was Cup Final day against the school’s most fierce rivals. Andy was 12 years old and nervously waiting to hear if he would be included in the team. He looked to his dad watching from the sidelines, hoping his name would be announced. Finally, the team was revealed and Andy would be playing in defence.The game kicks off. In the first minute the opposition start to attack. Andy looks on as the rival striker comes rushing towards him. There’s an opportunity for Andy to get involved and stop his team from losing a goal. But, at the final second, he decides not to make a challenge.The striker goes past him. He scores. Andy’s team is 1-0 down and it’s only the opening minute. How would his dad react? Why had Andy not reacted? And why is it that Andy has never been able to forget that moment ever since?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Andy. His unguarded and moving reflections on his fear of failure will resonate with many. They also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Referenced links: https://thinkunconventionall.com/*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
19/12/23·24m 42s

Strict education vs extreme freedom: how do boys react?

When it comes to idyllic childhood’s one would be hard-pressed to think of a more harmonious one than James’. He was raised in Villefrance, a town in  the Alps located along the French and Italian border. There he spent quality time with his father who taught him about the  nurturing power of nature.It was with a sense of horror and disbelief that one day James’ father would tell him that everything he had known would be coming to an end. That his once idyllic life would be replaced by a harsh, stifling, concrete environment, characterised by enforcing obedience and conformity.But what would be the circumstances that would lead to this change? And how have James’ childhood experiences inspired him to help and engage young people today?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, James. His tender and heartfelt reflections on a childhood that was both cherished and lost are deeply moving and highly appreciated. They also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
12/12/23·24m 3s

Driving at 90 mph: How a man gambled with his life

Speeding along the motorway listening to music from his youth, Andy was reflecting on happier times. He was thinking about a holiday in Ibiza when he was 19 years old and hadn’t a care in the world. He’d been genuinely happy then. Now he felt angry, destructive. He saw nothing ahead of him except struggle and pain. He put his foot on the accelerator and saw the speedometer rise to 90 miles per hour. He bobbed and weaved his way through the cars. He took his hands off the steering wheel. He closed his eyes, he started to count. Within the deep blackness Andy was being hurtled, he was taking the ultimate gamble.What had led Andy to this point? And what tools are available to help men like Andy in society today?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Andy. His moving and brave recollections of the challenges he has faced are both enlightening and highly appreciated. They also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Referenced website: epicriskmanagement.com*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test
05/12/23·25m 50s

Life on a billionaire’s superyacht: The real below deck

Will was 21 years old and working on a superyacht travelling from Malta to the Maldives. He was living a young man’s fantasy, the life he’d dreamed of since being a young boy.His shift had just come to an end when the shrill ringing of the fire alarm went off. Will’s first response was irritation at having to perform another drill; that was until he saw his Chief Officer running on-deck in his pyjamas screaming “THIS IS NOT A DRILL!!”Will and the rest of the crew waited for the fire team to show up, but no-one was coming. Knowing how flammable a superyacht could be, it would eventually be up to Will himself, along with other members of the crew, to  stop his dream from becoming a nightmare.Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Will. His engaging and enlightening recollections of life at sea provide some fascinating insights. They also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Referenced links: www.oceanbottle.co*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
28/11/23·27m 45s

The great pretender: gambling with friendship

It was his first summer holiday with the boys in Spain. Alan and his mates were bragging about all the money they’d brought with them for their two weeks in the sun. Yet, while his mates all seemed to be expressing genuine excitement, Alan felt anxious about the days to come.After the first night out, all of the lads returned in a drunken state. They left their clothes strewn across the apartment as they collapsed into sleep. Only Alan remained awake. He couldn’t stop thinking about a lie he’d told earlier. He couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that he had come on a two-week holiday with his mates without bringing any money with him at all.How would Alan get through the next two weeks of his holiday? And what had got him into such a precarious situation to begin with?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Alan. His frank and unflinching discussion of some truly difficult topics are deeply valued. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Referenced links: epicriskmanagement.com*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
21/11/23·23m 52s

Being the breadwinner when you hate your job

After the previously independent company that he’d worked for had been bought up by a much larger one, Anuj had begun to lose his passion for his job. The one benefit that had remained was his team, who he thoroughly enjoyed working with. But  even that would come under threat as Anuj was told that he needed to make two of them redundant. Anuj decided that it was time for him to formulate a plan. Once he had it clearly formulated, he steeled himself to tell his boss about it before the scheduled redundancy meeting would take place. With trepidation in his heart, he would prepare to tell his boss what he felt needed to be said.Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Anuj. His thoughtful and open reflections on the workplace and the pressures of being a breadwinner are deeply appreciated. They also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test
14/11/23·21m 22s

Adapt at your peril: the art of being an unreasonable man

Jonathan was daydreaming while his chemistry professor was putting chalk to blackboard. He’d snuck his NME magazine into the lecture theatre and was reading about an upcoming gig: Alice in Chains, a world-famous band, were coming to perform in his city!The news got even more exciting; the band’s bassist would soon be leaving. This gave Jonathan a wild idea: why not apply to be the band’s bassist himself? He knew all of their songs and was certain to be attending the gig anyway. Resolved on this idea, he began writing an application letter to the venue at which the band would be playing.But what gave Jonathan the confidence to make such an application? And what would the band’s response to it be?  Welcome to the mind of the unreasonable man.Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Jonathan. His energetic and optimistic perspective on life and the opportunities it can present is highly inspirational. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
07/11/23·23m 28s

Strengthening the bond with your brothers via the beautiful game

It was cup final day and Sumit and his brothers were dreaming of victory. They had all travelled to Kiev to watch Liverpool play the final match in Europe’s premier competition. All the brothers had to do was navigate their way past the burly, gun-toting security guards and find their seats.Once the brothers had entered the stadium, they were dismayed to discover that their seats were a long distance from the pitch. They also only provided a view of half of the action as a cinder block significantly obscured their view. The brothers would have to work together in order to save their big day. Would there be something one of them could say or do to get the seats they had dreamed of?Today we reflect on the joy of spending special time with special people and we reflect on the unique bonds that only brothers can share.Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Sumit. His thoughtful and open approach to discussing family and community are extremely valuable and highly appreciated. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Websites referenced: https://storiesofmenpodcast.com/ (The Man Test)*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
31/10/23·22m 51s

Think your life is chaotic? Learn lessons from a men’s mental health advocate

*Content warning: This episode contains graphic details of suicide*George had been struggling with anxiety and depression for a while and he was beginning to lose hope that he would ever feel better again. He was living with his parents and had sworn both of them to secrecy about his current state of mind. But one evening his secret was revealed.George’s parents had been out with friends and one of the friends had asked how George was doing. In response, she’d tearfully broken down and talked about how concerned she was about her son. Quite unexpectedly, her male friend offered to talk to him.But how would George react to his secret being revealed? And how could talking to his mother’s friend be in any way beneficial?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, George. His reflective and open discussion of his own psychological challenges and vulnerability shows great bravery and is deeply appreciated. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Suicide support: The Samaritans hotline 116 123*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test
24/10/23·26m 46s

A chef’s harrowing realisation about food

It was as ordinary a situation as you could imagine: Steve and his girlfriend were in Subway purchasing a sandwich. Steve had decided to go for the healthiest option available: a sandwich which was under 3g in fat. He’d chosen roast chicken, no sauces, no cookies and a diet coke.But as Steve was eating the food in front of him, he began to get nervous. A voice in his head was telling him: “What you’re doing isn’t right, you’re going to get fat.” As soon as Steve and his girlfriend got home, he made his excuses and went straight to the bathroom. He aimed to ensure that the food did not remain in his system before the night was through.What had led to Steve developing such an unhealthy relationship with food? And how did he manage to go from fearing food to becoming a chef?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Steve. His honesty and bravery in talking about such a debilitating disease is profoundly appreciated. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Eating disorder helpline: https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/get-information-and-support/get-help-for-myself/i-need-support-now/helplines/ *********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
17/10/23·23m 0s

Meet the dad who let go of his young daughter

Adam is driving his teenage daughter to Oxford. During the 1-hour journey, a few meaningful looks are exchanged. He is trying to be strong, but he feels nervous about the future, nervous about the prospect of relinquishing control.Eventually they arrive in a leafy suburb and are directly outside of a large building. Adam knows that this is the place where he must leave her. He goes to help her with her luggage but he’s told that he can not enter the premises. He has to let go now, he has to trust others to take care of her.But how would letting go of control make Adam feel as a father? And would it be possible for others to help his daughter in ways that Adam couldn’t?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Adam. His empathetic and insightful reflections on a period of his life which was so challenging are truly appreciated. They also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Episode references: https://theleadershipenigma.buzzsprout.com/*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
10/10/23·22m 12s

Keeping your brother locked up for 73 hours

Mark was outside the door, his brother was locked in. The student apartment they were in was rat-infested and in complete disarray. All Mark’s brother had access to was 20 sausage rolls, a bottle of ketchup and a bucket. It was Mark who had access to the keys.His brother began by pleading with Mark to open the door. Then he started to threaten and scream. It was when his brother seemed to be losing his mind that Mark’s resolve began to soften. Should he let his brother out? Wasn’t literally holding him captive going too far? Despite his doubts, what began to happen within the 72 hours of captivity would change both the brother’s lives forever.But why was it necessary for Mark to go to such extreme lengths? And what did this experience teach Mark about being both a man and a brother?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Mark. His impassioned and unique perspective on what makes life worth living is both fascinating and stimulating. It  also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test
03/10/23·23m 57s

How an unconventional approach saved a man’s business

It was March 2020 and Brad had just received confirmation that his current business model had become unworkable. A lockdown had been ordered following the pandemic, and the vast quantities of money that had been flowing through Brad’s account were set to disappear overnight.Brad’s wife was in tears as she learned the news. But Brad knew that tears were not going to help him: this was a moment for action. He stormed into his office and, in a creative frenzy, put together a plan which might just be crazy enough to work. He then picked up the phone to call an old mentor. It was make or break time and Brad was more than up for the challenge.What ideas would Brad put together to save his family’s livelihood? And what can we learn as men about taking action during challenging times?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Brad. His unique and powerful story is both motivating and deeply inspirational. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Episode references: https://www.bradburton.biz/*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
26/09/23·21m 35s

From the corridors of power to becoming a dad

Jimmy was sitting in the waiting room thinking carefully about the decision he was about to announce. He had risen to a point of great success in his career, he was literally operating in the corridors of power. He sat there thinking carefully about each word he was going to utter. Up to now, nothing had been announced, he could go back on his plan. Was he really making the right decision? Could he really be about to walk away from such a high-powered position to become a stay-at-home dad?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Jimmy. His unique and considered reflections on life experienced at the heart of government and his decision to walk away from it all are both fascinating and revealing. They also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
19/09/23·23m 11s

What I learnt from my suicide attempt

*Content warning: This episode contains graphic details of suicide*It was a perfect storm of events and emotions. Dan had recently lost his mother. He’d had a number of business ventures which had not worked out. He was also struggling with his mental health. As a result, he decided to take a walk along the quiet streets at night, hoping that no-one would see him. He had a length of rope wrapped around his arm, carefully concealed from view.He was searching for the perfect tree which he could attach his rope to. As he visualised his plans for the future, he was the calmest he had been in a long time. But what Dan did not realise was that this night would end up going very differently to the night that he had planned.But what is it that pushes men to contemplate suicide? And what can be done to help those who are seriously struggling with their mental health?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Dan. His frank and authentic recounting of such a difficult story shows remarkable courage and is profoundly appreciated. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Episode references: The Samaritans hotline: 116 123Middle Finger Club*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test
12/09/23·21m 15s

New school, new language, new life?

Valerio grew up in a small Italian province. He enjoyed his life and was comfortable in his surroundings. It was something of a shock to the system, then, when his dad got a job in London while Valerio was just 12 years old. Valerio found himself moving to a metropolis, where he didn’t speak the language and knew nothing of the culture. It was at his new school that life was most difficult. On just his second day, he found that he didn’t know how to find his classroom. Not knowing anyone and hardly speaking any English, he had no means of asking for help.Would anyone be willing to come to Valerio ‘s aid? And how would such moments of helplessness make Valerio feel as a foreign male in the UK?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Valerio. His sensitive and enlightening reflections on what it is like to be a foreigner in Britain are greatly appreciated. They also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
05/09/23·21m 57s

Battling with reality to bring back the people we love

It was a day as ordinary as any other. Luke was taking a leisurely stroll to the shops when he began to feel the strangest of sensations. He felt time beginning to slow down. He experienced a feeling of entering a parallel universe, a place where reality no longer existed. He was fighting a battle against his own sense of truth, a truth he had known for years. The cause of these feelings was a car he had just witnessed of a very specific model. The colour was the same, as were the wheels and trim. Luke craned his neck in order to see the number plate. Would that be the same too? Could it be that the person he had thought he had lost forever had returned?Today we focus on the powerful impact of grief, how it can affect us, and what men can do to process these intense feelings.Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Luke. His sensitive and thoughtful reflections on such a personal topic are deeply appreciated. They also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
29/08/23·19m 23s

The podcast that saved a man’s life

“The Waffle Shop”, a podcast started by James, had been doing particularly well when he decided to throw his first ever live event. Everything was in place; however, as the beginning of the event approached, James began to experience extreme anxiety back-stage.He was sweating profusely. His fists were tightly clenched. He couldn’t help but think about the repercussions if this event were not to be a success. When he finally heard the MC announce his name, he mechanically made his way to the stage almost blacking out in the process.How would James’ first live event go? And why is it that so many men struggle with extreme anxiety when doing public speaking?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, James. His reflections on performance and vulnerability demonstrate an openness that is profoundly valued. His story also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Referenced link: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-waffle-shop/id1514646770 Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test
22/08/23·25m 21s

The difficulties men face when having kids

Matt was on his way to the fertility clinic in order to produce a sample for his wife’s IVF treatment. This would be the 7th time the couple had attempted the procedure and it would likely be the final time they would have the financial and emotional resources to do so.At the clinic, Matt couldn’t help but notice how unconducive the environment was to achieving his goal. The wifi was dodgy and the only magazine available was Backdoor Boys, a gay publication. Despite such challenges, Matt succeeded in his mission, yet there would remain a much longer journey to be completed. What was it that drove Matt and his wife to keep undertaking such a procedure? And how does it feel as a man to be so powerless during the IVF journey?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Matt. His frankness and humour in talking about such a difficult subject are greatly valued. His story also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
15/08/23·25m 17s

Why men get social anxiety

It was a beautiful summer’s day and Kevin was enjoying a boat trip along a picturesque canal with his girlfriend and her parents. His in-laws had arranged the trip as a way to celebrate their daughter’s birthday and they were all appreciating the tranquil waters as their boat bobbed along.As the trip was progressing, Kevin’s father-in-law asked him which sandwich he wanted. For some reason, Kevin found that he was unable to respond. In addition, he felt a pain in his chest. As he felt his body going into complete shutdown, he couldn’t help but feel embarrassment as he noticed that all of the attention was now on him. What had prompted Kevin to react in this way? And how would he feel after being the cause of “ruining” his girlfriend’s big day?You can shape the future of the podcast. Jump on a call with Alex and give your feedback today - click here to book a slot.Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Kevin. His honesty and willingness to talk about his own vulnerabilities is deeply valued. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
08/08/23·31m 41s

What we do as men after realising we’ve put on weight

There was nothing that Arjun loved more than a wedding celebration. It was an opportunity for him to sing and dance and dress in elegant clothing, while also spending time with people he knew and loved.On one particular occasion, however, Arjun was much less excited about celebrating as he discovered that the clothing he had worn at a previous wedding no longer fit. As a result, he needed to borrow wedding clothes from his father. The situation led to Arjun feeling both unconfident and depressed.But what had led to Arjun’s weight gain? And why is it that putting on weight can so often have a significant impact on the way men feel and the way they view themselves?You can shape the future of the podcast. Jump on a call with Alex and give your feedback today - click here to book a slot.Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Arjun. The way in which he confidently and openly reflects on a topic which often causes so much shame and difficulty for men is greatly admired and appreciated. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test
01/08/23·18m 37s

Why all men should do this test

It was a beautiful autumnal morning and Andrew was thoroughly enjoying being at a Senior Golf Tour. During the event, a leaflet was handed to him concerning prostate cancer. He took it out of politeness and immediately shoved it into his pocket unread.It wasn’t until many days later that Andrew chanced upon the leaflet again as he was about to take his dog out for a walk. This time, he decided to read it and what he read motivated him to get checked out; it would turn out that this would be one of the most important decisions he had ever made in his life.But why is it that so many men refuse to see the doctor, even when they have symptoms? And what more can be done to avoid the 12,000 people a year becoming victim to one of the most prevalent cancers in men?You can shape the future of the podcast. Jump on a call with Alex and give your feedback today - click here to book a slot.Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Andrew. The passionate and articulate way in which he shares his story and advocates for more men to learn from his experience is both inspiring and powerfully instructive. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Website referenced in episode: www.prostatecanceruk.org*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
25/07/23·25m 11s

The lessons from an absent father

Kazeem had always had a strained relationship with his father. His dad abandoned him when he was a baby and Kazeem only ever had fleeting experiences of spending time with him as he was growing up. After his dad hit him across the face at the age of 12, Kazeem completely broke off relations with his father. But, aged 21 and now an adult, Kazeem decided to give his father one last chance.On Kazeem’s 27th birthday, he received no message from his dad. It wasn’t until 4 days later that the belated birthday wishes arrived. Kazeem decided that he had had enough of his father’s lack of commitment and set out to break off relations with him once and for all. But, at a family function, they would find themselves unwillingly brought face-to-face once more. How would Kazeem react to seeing the man who had so constantly proved to be a disappointment? And how would Kazeem’s father react to being rejected by his son?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Kazeem. His thoughtful, open and considered reflections on a subject which so many will be able to relate to are immensely important and appreciated. They also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
18/07/23·33m 37s

The struggle to be yourself whilst getting a haircut

As a queer man, Matt had always found the barbershop to be a particularly hyper-masculine space. He’d got on with everyone there, particularly the owner, but he had never felt comfortable enough to truly open up and be himself.It was to his great surprise, then, that when entering the barbershop one day he was introduced to a new employee: a flamboyant Brazilian, who seemed to embrace all of the aspects of his personality that Matt had striven so hard not to reveal. Had Matt misjudged his need to keep his authentic self hidden? And why had Matt originally found it necessary to mask his own form of masculinity in order to fit into this space?You can shape the future of the podcast. Jump on a call with Alex and give your feedback today - click here to book a slot.Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Matt. His openness in discussing the challenges he and many in his community face is both enlightening and poignant. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test
11/07/23·25m 34s

The hidden price of seeking your Dad’s approval

David was exploring the world while scaling the heady heights of multi-sports journalism. In only his second “proper job” post-university, he found himself unexpectedly appointed editor of a new magazine specialising in all-terrain vehicles. As this was the only magazine of its kind, David received invites from manufacturers the world over in order to assess and review their products. It was as a result of such an invitation that David found himself speeding through a vast expanse of heathland in Quebec on a brand new quad bike. The problem was, however, that he was feeling highly uncomfortable. He couldn’t see the terrain well enough to feel safe and, the longer the ride continued,  the more vulnerable he began to feel.What was it that underlay the vision problems that David was experiencing? And would he be able to extricate himself from such a perilous situation without experiencing serious harm?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, David. His humility, bravery and frankness while telling his story make for a powerful experience. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
04/07/23·30m 24s

Are we addicted to painkillers?

Mark had spent many years working as a traffic police officer. During this time, he had experienced countless tragic sights. His response to these had been to bottle up his feelings. This had led to him becoming desensitised and uncaring. Dedicated counselling had been required to help Mark remove the barriers that had prevented him from dealing with the pain that had built inside.When experiencing inflammatory arthritis then, Mark became devastated when he realised that the same pattern of erected barriers had become repeated, this time via an addiction to opioids.What had led Mark to walking down the very path he had been determined not to retread? And what could our health care system do differently to support people like Mark more effectively in the future?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Mark. His frank and eye-opening reflections on the challenges he has faced are shared with both bravery and wisdom. They also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
27/06/23·30m 39s

From Tragedy to Triumph: Bouncing Back From Grief

Dale Pollitt was 17 years old and appeared to be going nowhere. He’d just dropped out of school and was working at KFC. Like so many teenagers on the estate in which he lived, he spent most of his spare hours smoking weed and playing computer games. But one day he would receive some tragic news that would change his entire outlook on life.He received a phone call from his mum telling him that he needed to come over to the house. He was panicked and sweating as he drove frantically to join her. When he arrived, he saw his mother, his father, his sister and a police officer waiting to receive him.What would Dale discover that would lead to a complete evolution in his view of life? And what would Dale learn about becoming a man in the process?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Dale. His bravery and generosity in talking about such a tragic and transformative moment in his life is both inspiring and profoundly appreciated. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test
20/06/23·29m 59s

Shattering stereotypes: a new life post-accident

Steve seemed to have a charmed life. After graduating from university, he began travelling around Europe. He then found himself settling at a holiday resort and, in a few short years, went from being the cleaner to becoming the Area Manager. He was living the dream and making the most of what life had to offer. But one day everything would change for good.He was visiting a friend in Germany as part of a birthday surprise. On the way, however, he tripped and fell over the balcony railing. He landed awkwardly and soon realised that he couldn’t move.Steve would later discover that he would no longer be able to walk. But, instead of this being the end of Steve’s journey, it proved to be a new beginning. He would go on to discover a new sport, a new vocation and a new level of achievement.Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Steve. His courage and determination and his ability to adapt to the circumstances he has faced in the best possible way is nothing short of inspirational. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
13/06/23·34m 59s

Surviving in Silence: The Hidden Struggle of Men Avoiding The Doctor

Sam was 27 years old and in the midst of embarking upon his American adventure. He had just arrived in New York and was meeting up with some friends he’d made online to help him stay awake and beat the jet-lag. After a meet-up involving the consumption of copious amounts of hotdogs and beer, Sam began to feel very queasy. He went to the bathroom but the feelings of pain would not subside.Four years later, Sam’s condition had worsened. His weight had fallen to around 7 stone. He was in constant pain and found it difficult to get out of bed. Finally, he decided he had no option but to seek medical help. On arrival at the hospital, he discovered just how risky his delay to see the doctor had been. But why did he feel the need to wait until a crisis had occurred before seeing the doctor? And why are so many men reluctant to seek medical attention when they need it?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Sam. His frankness and willingness to discuss a phobia so many men can relate to is deeply appreciated. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
06/06/23·19m 36s

Why it’s important to break the rules: the war photographer who left home at 13

Nick Danziger is an award-winning photographer. He is also a filmmaker and travel writer. His adventures abroad began at a very young age.Nick was 13 and living in Switzerland when he told his parents that he was going to travel to Paris. Nick’s parents did not take their son particularly seriously but little did they know that he had a plan in mind. He had packed some basic food provisions and the little bit of money he had access to. He also took a sketch pad, which would turn out to be the item that would earn him money on his travels.After sneaking onto and off the train, Nick did in fact arrive in Paris. But while a world of potential adventure opened up to him, so did a world of potential danger. How would a young Nick navigate this danger? And what would he learn on his travels that would influence him throughout his life?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Nick. His reflective and profound observations on travel and the privileges he has experienced as a white, western male are illuminating and wise. They also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test
30/05/23·29m 54s

Life after death: keeping alive the memory of lost loved ones

After spending some time as a couple, Rob and Jodie had been friends for over ten years. He had seen her go through health challenges in the past and always re-emerge to be there by his side. It was with great shock then that Rob received a call from Jodie’s sister on his 40th birthday telling him that Jodie had suddenly passed away.Rob went to Jodie’s funeral and found himself breaking down in paroxysms of grief. As he went to pay Jodie his last respects, he wracked his mind to think of the right words.What could Rob say that would encapsulate everything that he had felt for her over the years he had known her? And how would he be able to come to terms with his grief following her passing?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Rob. His openness in acknowledging how he was able to express such profound grief as a man is highly appreciated. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.-Rob also has a podcast named "Sketchplanations". His podcast is a series to accompany the collection of sketches at Sketchplanations.com; that explain stuff simply from the world around us. Each week they select a different sketch and discuss how it applies in our lives and to society at large - with a little bit of silliness thrown in. With friends for 25 years; Engineer & Broadcaster Rob Bell, Sketchplanations creator Jono Hey, and The Apprentice winner 2011 Tom Pellereau. Listen here: https://tr.ee/U9BRt3bjcy*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
23/05/23·28m 26s

Getting mixed signals? The myth of finding 'the one'

Samuel had just made a number of significant changes in his life following the pandemic. He had changed jobs, moved house and left a 4-your relationship. It was to his great surprise then that on a night out at the pub, he thought that he had found “the one”. She was petite and blonde, just his type. She also shared his taste in music and films. The similarities were so extreme that they even had the same birthday. Samuel asked for the woman’s number and they proceeded to have their first date. It was perfect. But, after such a good start, “the one” began pulling away.What was the reason for her change of heart? And how did it make Samuel feel as a man to see someone he was so fond of begin to drift away?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Samuel. His willingness to talk about his own vulnerabilities and insecurities demonstrates true courage and is greatly appreciated. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
16/05/23·28m 56s

The great taboo: male survivors of domestic abuse

From the outside, Zahir seemed to be living the perfect life. He had a successful job, a beautiful apartment and he had just got married. Behind closed doors, however, the situation was much less than ideal.Zahir and his wife were miserable. They were constantly arguing and those arguments were beginning to escalate. Eventually, Zahir felt that the situation could not continue and he told his wife that they should consider a divorce. Her reaction was one of fury. She marched towards Zahir and pinned him against the wall, she then proceeded to put her hands around his throat and made a threat that he would never forget.Nothing like this had ever happened between Zahir and his wife before. How was Zahir supposed to react? And how would he move on from this experience?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Zahir. His candid, brave and moving reflections on such a sensitive topic show deep courage for which we are profoundly grateful. They also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.If you have been affected by the topics covered in this episode, visit ManKind. They are an organisation which provides information, support and signposting service to men suffering from domestic abuse. Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test
09/05/23·36m 7s

How a history of violence almost ended in manslaughter

Emmanuel was the youngest of six children. He was also the only boy of the household. As a child, Emmanuel’s father would often disappear for weeks or months on end, during which time Emmanuel would eagerly anticipate his return.One night, Emmanuel would be woken from his sleep as his father unexpectedly stormed home. He had roused the entire household because a dirty cup had been left in the sink. He got Emmanuel and his sisters to stand in a row and stood before them with a wooden spoon in hand. He then proceeded to ask each child who had left the cup in the sink. Emmanuel hadn’t done it but, in order to spare his sisters, he claimed responsibility. What consequences would Emmanuel face for his bravery? And how would his father’s subsequent treatment of him contribute to the anger Emmanuel would feel later in his life?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Emmanuel. His frank and moving reflections on dealing with neglect and violence are profoundly appreciated. They also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
02/05/23·36m 35s

How meeting Sir Alex Ferguson changed a young boy’s life

Alex was an 8-year-old kid with an obsession for football and a love of Manchester United. When he heard a rumour that his hero and Manchester United legend, Alex Ferguson, would be at a local venue, he convinced his father to take him.Arriving at the venue, Alex still didn’t really believe that Alex Ferguson would be present. However, after spotting a local football presenter that he recognised from the TV, he went over to find out once and for all whether the Manchester United manager was there. He would subsequently discover that his hero was merely metres away and a meeting would be arranged that he would never forget.Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Alex. His honest, humble and humorous reflections on his past and present successes are engaging and motivating to behold . They also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
25/04/23·35m 55s

Fronting up to guilt: why we can't always be in control

Robert was a young doctor working in an intensive care ward when a patient was urgently admitted to him with pancreatitis. Robert proceeded to provide treatment for his patient and left him in what he believed to be a stable condition.Later on, the alarm over his patient’s bed was triggered. Robert and a team of specialist doctors and nurses rushed to the scene. The patient’s bag had filled with blood and his heart had stopped. Robert was panic-stricken and filled with guilt.  How responsible had he been for the patient entering such a critical condition? And would he and his team now be able to save the patient’s life?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Robert. His willingness to explore such a traumatic moment in his life is deeply moving and highly appreciated. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test
18/04/23·32m 17s

Alix Popham tells us why men sacrifice themselves for sport

Alix is a former professional rugby player who made it to the very top of his profession. After retiring, his wife noticed that he was displaying some strange behaviour. But Alix dismissed his wife’s concerns until one day he went on a fateful bike ride.He was riding along what should have been a familiar route. It was a loop that he had done countless times before. But, on this day, he found himself stranded. He couldn’t work out how to complete his journey. Panic-stricken, he called his wife for assistance. Alix made it home but he finally knew it was time to speak to a medical professional. He would then receive the diagnosis which would change the course of his life. How would Alix react to this diagnosis? And would it make him regret his achievements of the past?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Alix. His generosity and level-headed optimism are both motivating and moving. They also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
11/04/23·35m 56s

Liquid confidence: Why do men need so much alcohol?

Jack, a record-breaking cyclist, was engaging in a social event with his fellow competitors. It was the off-season and they found themselves cycling across the French border and emerging onto the sun-dappled beaches of Spain. It was time to take a rest and Jack began to fantasise about having a large cup of coffee.After drinking his coffee, one of the crowd asked him if he was going to have a beer. Jack revealed that he didn’t drink. The immediate reaction from the all-male crowd was one of shock. This shock then turned into mockery.The mockery and the peer-pressure built to a point where Jack began to feel highly uncomfortable. Why is it that the crowd judged him so much for his decision not to drink? And why is it that male culture often seems to prize drinking so highly?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Jack. His openness, insightfulness and grounded reflection are deeply appreciated. They also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
04/04/23·29m 30s

Fight or flight? What to do when a bully squares up to you

Chris was doing a typical day’s work at the local butcher’s when a man behind him started swearing at him, claiming he had got blood on his shirt. A few weeks later, Chris found himself confronted by a burly individual who accused Chris of disrespecting his friend. At first Chris tried to avoid confrontation but, as he found himself pursued in the street, he decided that the only way to protect himself was to challenge his pursuer. When he did so, the pursuer backed away.This would not be the end of the situation, however. Chris found himself pursued by the same individual on two more occasions. Finally, a fight broke out. Despite his smaller size, Chris got the better of the exchange. It seemed as if the conflict had reached an end but Chris would go on to discover something about his attacker that would make him realise how intensely close to danger he had been.Would Chris end up regretting the actions he had taken to defend himself? And how should you react when you are threatened in the street?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Chris. His honesty, humility and considered reflections are deeply appreciated. They also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
28/03/23·30m 39s

What are the consequences of pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion?

Phil had taken financial risks and had fallen into debt. But he was the man of the house and he had to find a way forward. He began working harder and harder. He found ways to keep pushing himself further in pursuit of success.One night he was taking the night time drive home. It was 45 minutes along the motorway. He’d taken the trip countless times before but this time his eyes were feeling a little too heavy, he was afraid he might lose concentration. Then he opened his eyes and realised that he was speeding straight towards a lorry. He slammed his foot against the brakes.There was a cacophony of horns around him. How had he got to a stage where his lifestyle had brought him so close to disaster? And in what way would this experience shape his actions going forward?Alex Melia and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Phil. His personal and frank revelations about how his previous mindset was shaped and how this has since evolved are of immense value. His reflections also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
21/03/23·33m 30s

How we can help young boys become better men

You are a social worker and you are working with a young boy who has no experience of being told what to do. He has committed a crime and he is about to go face-to-face with a magistrate. If he does not behave himself, he will only make his situation worse.You are straining to convince him that his best option is to follow the magistrate’s instructions, but the boy continues to act up. After being reprimanded, he throws a pencil at the magistrate’s face. You know this is his final chance.Your training has not prepared you for this. What can you say to finally get through to the boy? Could it be that your experience of being a man might be the very connection you need to use to help this boy change? Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Tim. His eloquence and thoughtful reflection on the meaning and importance of connection is both refreshingly honest and insightful. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
14/03/23·30m 45s

How to deal with losing your job

You are a lawyer and you find yourself unemployed for the first time in two decades. You’re sitting on your sofa in your underwear. You feel like you have failed. Feeling that you need to express your disappointment, you decide to reveal your true thoughts to the world. You write a post on LinkedIn.  You pour out your heart. You worry that you may be burning your professional bridges but something compels you to take the risk.After a few hours, it becomes clear that your post has had an impact in a way that you could never have imagined. It has opened the door to the next phase of your life and career. But why did your post have the impact that it did? And what does this say about our society more generally?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Howard. His candour and openness is deeply appreciated and is sure to strike a chord. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
07/03/23·25m 2s

What would you sacrifice to achieve your lifelong ambition?

You are a boxing fanatic. You have been obsessed with the sport ever since you were a child. As a teenager you have one overriding ambition: to work for the most prestigious boxing magazine in the country, “Boxing News”.Now you are a young man. You tell your brother that you have plans to emigrate to Australia. You tell him there’s only one possible outcome that could prevent you from doing so: being offered a job at the magazine you have idolised for so long. Then the phone rings. Your brother answers it. He tells you the editor of “Boxing News” is on the line.Is this call just a coincidence? Could Claude really end up getting his dream job at such a key moment in his life? Was all of this simply meant to be?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Claude. His openness in communicating the unique way in which his life has evolved is fascinating to listen to. His reflections also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
28/02/23·32m 5s

How to continue living after losing the love of your life

You are travelling with your childhood sweetheart and her family. You met her at school when you were just 17 years old and you’ve been together for 10 years. You have made plans for the future. You’re engaged to be married. You’re playing eye-spy on the roadside together. And then a tragic accident takes her away from you forever. You are distraught. Everything that the future was supposed to be has now changed. How could this have happened? What are you meant to do now?Today we’ll be asking: is it possible to learn to live with such a debilitating loss? And how can our ability to accept the past provide a pathway to being able to make the most of the present?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Jonathan Wilson. His bravery, wisdom and openness while discussing such profoundly tragic events is both deeply moving and inspiring. His story also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
21/02/23·28m 45s

Why men find it so difficult to visit the doctor

You’re in your favourite blues bar. You’re dancing to the melodic guitars. You see a woman across from you. She captures your attention. You capture hers. You speak to her outside of the bar. You discover that the connection is real.Over the next few months, you fall in love. But she’s seen something on your leg: a small bump. She thinks you should get it checked out. You tell her it’s nothing. But the bump is getting bigger. Eventually, you follow her advice and you receive the diagnosis which is going to change your life.Today we discover how Lewis reacted to receiving his unexpected diagnosis and we ask, why is it that men can often be so reluctant to seek medical advice even when we know that something isn’t right?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Lewis Matthews. His humour, honesty and unfiltered account of both falling in love and discovering his ill health is fascinating to behold. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
14/02/23·24m 2s

The phone call no one ever wants to receive

Your biological father disappeared from your life when you were a young child. You have been raised by another man who has been a father to you in every way you could possibly imagine. But, many years later, your biological father returns.You find that you have a lot in common with him. But your relationship is not that of father and son. He’s more like a best friend. You’re playing computer games in his flat one night. The next day you receive a phone call. It’s about the man who left and so recently returned to your life. It will not be good news.Today we discover how Tom’s relationships with both his biological and non-biological fathers have shaped him as a man. And ask, what is the best way to process grief when it occurs in our life?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Tom McGillicudy. His honesty, humility and reflection on such difficult experiences is both admirable and deeply appreciated. His story also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
07/02/23·26m 8s

Scared of being outed with Stephen K Amos

You’re 20 years old. You’ve been hiding your sexual identity from all of those around you. But now you find yourself on a journey towards your first ever gay bar.You’re excited but you’re also terrified. You’re terrified that someone who recognises you will see you enter the bar. You’re terrified that your secret will finally be revealed. You circle the bar 6, 8, 10 times, checking each time that no-one you know will see you enter. You go into the bar and finally the journey of discovering your authentic self begins.Today we’ll find out how Stephen’s journey into gay culture helped him to make sense of himself as a man. And we ask, how can men be supported in today’s world to live a life that is true to themselves?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Stephen K Amos. His honesty, generosity and passion in sharing an important personal story of struggle and acceptance is profoundly appreciated. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
31/01/23·28m 34s

How to reset your life after going to prison?

ep 14: You get a phone call from a friend who’s asking to be picked up. He has a reputation as a dodgy character but you agree to help him out. Before you know it, you’re being pursued by a police car. It’s now that your friend tells you he’s carrying something he shouldn’t be.You think about driving away but you suddenly find yourself surrounded. You and your mate are dragged out of the car and the police find cocaine. You will end up being sentenced to 32 months in prison. And you will share a cell with the person who brought this chaos into your life to start with.Today we discover how Grant dealt with having his freedom taken away. And ask, how has Grant’s perception of himself as a man been altered since spending time in prison?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Grant. The humility, magnanimity and calmness  he shows in talking about extremely difficult moments in his life is inspirational to witness. His story also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
24/01/23·25m 23s

How Jacob found the courage to speak out about an abusive past

Ep 13: You’re finishing a night-shift at work. You receive a text from a family member. The person is requesting to see you right now. They need to talk and it is not a conversation that can happen over the phone.You arrive at the family member’s house. They are visibly upset. Then they break down. They are crying in front of you. It is at this point that they tell you their truth. As you listen to their story, you are deeply shaken by its familiarity. And you realise that it’s time to unburden yourself of a secret of your own.Today we discover how being forced to live with the secret of child abuse has impacted Jacob’s perception of himself as a man. And ask, what can be done to help other male victims of child abuse speak their truth?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Jacob. His courage, strength and sensitivity while talking about such traumatic experiences is inspirational and deeply appreciated. His story also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
17/01/23·31m 19s

Telling your old-school, Catholic father about your sexuality

Ep 12: You’ve grown up in a provincial Irish town. You’ve known that your sexuality is different to those around you since you were a teenager. But, as you grow up, you find that you do not fit the stereotype of what a gay man is perceived to be and you are reluctant to define yourself by your sexual preference. One day, however, you realise that one of the people you love most does not truly know you. Your father is an old-school man whose values belong to generations past. You’ve never spoken to him about sex, never mind your sexuality. How will you approach finally telling him about your true self? And will he accept you once he knows?Today we discover how Larry’s sexuality has influenced his perception of himself as a man. And ask, why is it that so many “masculine men” feel the need to hide their sexuality when they happen to be gay?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Larry Meyler. His candour, courage and generosity in sharing such a personal story of identity and acceptance is profoundly appreciated . His reflections also provide a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.Link to first book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Being-Brave-Journey-Through-Depression/dp/1546473076 *********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
10/01/23·23m 10s

Facing down violent football fans

Here is a special re-released episode of Stories of Men for the New Year.You’re facing down 15 angry men. It’s just you and your dad. You clamped their cars earlier and you’ve been waiting for the men to arrive. You knew they weren’t going to be in a good mood. They’re glaring at you; screaming; shouting. Your father demands the men pay the money before you unclamp the cars. You make one small mistake. The next thing you know, your father is lying unconscious in your arms.Daniel Collins was a slightly built 18-year-old boy who was travelling around the country clamping cars. He hated the job but his father seemed to relish it. It was just a small mistake Daniel made, but it spurred on his dad’s attacker.How badly would Daniel’s dad be hurt? And would Daniel ever be able to go back to his job after this?Today we discover how he reacted to this situation. And ask, has Daniel’s perception of masculinity changed after witnessing what happened to his father?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Daniel Collins. His honesty, resolve and courage in reliving such a horrific and terrifying moment is a sign of genuine strength and is profoundly appreciated. It also provides a vital insight as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
03/01/23·20m 51s

How a former soldier dealt with grief after the horrors of war

Here is a special re-released episode of Stories of Men for the Christmas period.You’re a soldier driving through a warzone. You pass through a deserted village. Later you see a lonely crucifix in a field. You find out what it symbolises: one night all of the people in the village were dragged outside of their homes and executed. How do you react? Do you dare to show emotion? Do you dare to show compassion?Jed Irving was a man’s man. He had been trained to keep his emotions in check. He didn’t react to finding out about the village massacre. He suppressed his feelings. But, years later,  that memory from the past was triggered. This time he felt a depth of compassion he had not been able to access before. But would Jed finally allow himself to express the emotions he had previously denied?Today we discover how Jed dealt with being confronted by the past. And ask, has Jed’s perception of masculinity changed as he has grown older? And what does it truly mean to be a “tough guy” in the 21st century?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Jed Irving. His vulnerability, openness and sincerity in talking about bearing witness to such a tragic scene shows inspirational courage. It also provides meaningful reflection as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
27/12/22·25m 4s

The impact of growing up without a father

ep 11: It’s Christmas Eve. You’re 6 years old. Your father is taking you shopping for an early Christmas present. He buys you a dictionary, a symbol of his wish for your future education.It’s the next day and you’re woken up by a commotion in the bathroom. You get out of bed and see your father on the toilet clutching his chest. Your mum lies him down and starts performing CPR. She tells you to call 999. You call the ambulance but it will not be enough to save him. You are going to lose your dad on Christmas day.Today we learn how Shaun was impacted by the trauma of losing his father at such a tender age. And we ask, how is a man affected by not having a male role model in his life as he is growing up?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Shuan Flores. His insight, candidness and bravery in sharing such a traumatic experience is both powerfully moving and inspiring. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
20/12/22·24m 9s

Learning to be the father you never had with Bode Aboderin

ep 10: You’re estranged from the mother of your child. You’re jobless. You have no permanent home. You find yourself living in your ex-mother-in-law’s spare room surviving on £20 a week. You’re lying under your duvet. You’re contemplating ending it all.Then you get a phone call from your father. You’re reluctant to answer. You know that his judgement will only add to your misery. But, for some reason, you accept the call and you receive an offer that is going to completely change your fortunes.Today we discover how reconnecting with his father allowed Bode to find renewed direction in his life. And ask, how can we as men recover from the wounds of childhood in order to become role models for our own children?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Bode. The charisma, frankness, and wisdom he shows in talking about the darkest and most inspiring moments of his life is a wonder to behold. His story also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.(References made to his book: “Fatherhood by Papa B”)*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
13/12/22·31m 25s

The tragic loss of a lifelong friend with Anthony Ogogo

ep 9: You’re 29 years old and you get the worst news you could ever imagine receiving. It’s about your best friend, the person you’ve known since you were a child. He’s ill and he isn’t going to recover.It was a friendship that had lasted a lifetime. Anthony and David had known each other since they were 8. They’d played together at school and they would relive the energy and innocence of those days every time they met. Yet, at the tender age of 29, David would be diagnosed with terminal cancer. Anthony was about to lose one of the most important people in his life.Today we discover how Anthony came to terms with this loss. While asking, what is it that a man goes through when he loses his best friend? And how can we be more appreciative of the male friendships in our lives?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Anthony. His energy, generosity, and courageousness in talking about such a tragic experience is inspirational. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
06/12/22·19m 40s

Are you burnt out at work?

ep 8: You’re struggling at work. Your energy levels are perilously low. You’re losing confidence. Even the minutest of challenges feels like a massive hurdle. On the train ride home, you are in paroxysms of tears. Something isn’t right.You get home and your wife asks if you’re OK. You tell her no but you don’t want to talk about it. The next morning you wake up with a heavy feeling in your stomach. You realise that the situation is coming to a head. You cannot keep going on like this.Today we discover how Mike was finally able to acknowledge his experience of burn-out at work. And ask, how can men begin to recognise early on when enough is enough and step away from a situation which is causing them mental distress?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Mike. His openness, sensitivity, and bravery in retelling moments of profound distress is truly appreciated. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
29/11/22·21m 49s

Should you run from violence or fight back?

ep 7: You’ve just been out partying with your friends. You’re walking home and it’s late at night. You hear footsteps behind you. They seem to be getting louder with each stride. Do you turn around to see who it is? Do you run away as fast as you can? Or do you carry on and hope that there’s nothing wrong?Nicco had only just arrived in the UK and he was trying to fit in. He didn’t want to come across as paranoid or be seen to over-react to his surroundings. But he hadn’t felt comfortable. He’d felt as if he were being pursued. That very night he and his friends would suffer a violent, unmotivated attack by a group of men. Now he asks himself, why didn’t I listen to my instincts? Why didn’t I escape the situation while I  had a chance?Today we discover how Nicco has dealt with the trauma following the attack. And ask, has his perception of masculinity changed since being the victim of such motiveless violence?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Nicco. His perceptiveness, generosity, and tenacity in retelling this traumatic moment in his life is inspirational. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test
22/11/22·21m 5s

Is it OK to cry in front of other men?

ep 6: You’re working in a job that you hate. It’s become so bad that you’ve started searching for other vacancies during working hours. But one day you get called into the office and you’re told that you’ve lost your job. How do you react?Jay Smith was sat in that office in front of his two male superiors and his reaction was to cry. He thought about his financial commitments. He thought about how he would be perceived as a man who was now unemployed. But, immediately, he began to feel ashamed. Why had he revealed his emotions so nakedly to these men? Wasn’t it wrong for a man to cry in public?Today we discover how Jay dealt with both losing his job and losing control of his emotions. And ask, has his perception of masculinity changed after revealing his vulnerability?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Jay Smith. His honesty, self-reflection and magnanimity in retelling this pivotal moment in his life is richly appreciated. It's also a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
15/11/22·20m 12s

How the effects of being bullied at school can manifest in later life

ep 5: You’ve just started at a new school. You’re standing in the playground. You’re minding your own business. Suddenly, you’re attacked by three boys. They fling you to the ground. Your nose hits the floor. You’ve been humiliated, and embarrassed. How do you respond? Do you assert yourself and try to stand up to the bullies? Or do you stay quiet and risk being picked on again?Scott Johnston decided to assert himself and he was attacked even more viciously. It was at the end of the attack that he discovered the motive. He’d been picked on because he was overweight.Today we discover how Scott used this attack as motivation to survive in a febrile school environment. And ask, how has dealing with bullying and body image concerns influenced his sense of being a man and his perception of masculinity?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Scott. His frankness, confidence, and courage in retelling moments of genuine vulnerability is profoundly appreciated. It also provides a vital part of the puzzle as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
08/11/22·20m 49s

How a man was saved from a suicide attempt

ep 4: You’re at a party with your girlfriend surrounded by your closest friends. You’re smiling and laughing and appear to be having a great time. But, after this moment of celebration, it is your intention to say goodbye. Nobody else knows it but you plan on ending your life that very night.Before taking his life, Luke is driven to make a phone call to a man who he hadn’t spoken to in a long time. He is also being watched by a kind stranger who can see that something isn’t right.  How will the kindness of an old friend and a perfect stranger unite to save Luke’s life? And will Luke eventually be able to appreciate how much he has to live for?Today we will discover the importance of kindness. We will also see how necessary it is for men to speak out when they are at their most desperate.Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Luke Scott. His frankness, courage and generosity in sharing such a painful story is an inspiration to behold. It also provides a vital insight into how pivotal kindness can be as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test
01/11/22·26m 11s

Facing down violent football fans

ep 3: You’re facing down 15 angry men. It’s just you and your dad. You clamped their cars earlier and you’ve been waiting for the men to arrive. You knew they weren’t going to be in a good mood. They’re glaring at you; screaming; shouting. Your father demands the men pay the money before you unclamp the cars. You make one small mistake. The next thing you know, your father is lying unconscious in your arms.Daniel Collins was a slightly built 18-year-old boy who was travelling around the country clamping cars. He hated the job but his father seemed to relish it. It was just a small mistake Daniel made, but it spurred on his dad’s attacker.How badly would Daniel’s dad be hurt? And would Daniel ever be able to go back to his job after this?Today we discover how he reacted to this situation. And ask, has Daniel’s perception of masculinity changed after witnessing what happened to his father?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Daniel Collins. His honesty, resolve and courage in reliving such a horrific and terrifying moment is a sign of genuine strength and is profoundly appreciated. It also provides a vital insight as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test_som
25/10/22·20m 39s

How a former soldier dealt with grief after the horrors of war

ep 2: You’re a soldier driving through a warzone. You pass through a deserted village. Later you see a lonely crucifix in a field. You find out what it symbolises: one night all of the people in the village were dragged outside of their homes and executed. How do you react? Do you dare to show emotion? Do you dare to show compassion?Jed Irving was a man’s man. He had been trained to keep his emotions in check. He didn’t react to finding out about the village massacre. He suppressed his feelings. But, years later,  that memory from the past was triggered. This time he felt a depth of compassion he had not been able to access before. But would Jed finally allow himself to express the emotions he had previously denied?Today we discover how Jed dealt with being confronted by the past. And ask, has Jed’s perception of masculinity changed as he has grown older? And what does it truly mean to be a “tough guy” in the 21st century?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest, Jed Irving. His vulnerability, openness and sincerity in talking about bearing witness to such a tragic scene shows inspirational courage. It also provides meaningful reflection as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/som_the_man_test
18/10/22·24m 37s

The most painful question to be asked

ep 1: Your dad’s on life support. Do you turn it off? All eyes are on you to make the ultimate decision. What do you do? Alexander Lindsay was struggling with burnout. Having just left the job he loved, he received a phone call nobody is ever prepared for. On getting to the hospital Alexander found himself in a room with both his mum, and his dad’s lover. But with doctors needing answers, this was no time for family drama. As the oldest male in the family, all eyes are on you. Would you decide to take your dad off life support to see if he survives by himself? Today we discover how he dealt with the situation. And ask, has Alexander’s perception of masculinity changed after the pressure of that decision?Alex Melia, and the Stories of Men team are on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life. We'll be sharing this knowledge with you every week.We’d like to extend our appreciation to today’s guest Alexander Lindsay. Their openness, candour, and bravery in retelling this tough moment in their life for us is awe inspiring.It's a vital part of the puzzle, as we try to piece together what it means to be a man in today’s world.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production Mentioned in this episode:Take The Man Test here: https://bit.ly/the_man_test
11/10/22·18m 42s

Trailer - Stories of Men: Beneath the Surface

Traditional ideas of masculinity are dead, and now men struggle to find their place in the world. In Stories of Men, Alex Melia speaks to men who’ve overcome challenging circumstances to find out what they’ve learned about being a man in today’s world.Alex Melia is a businessman and podcaster. From humble beginnings in Greater Manchester, he built a business which now employs over 30 people. Ten years in, and the company sustains him without his involvement. He now travels the world on a mission to uncover what it means to live an independent and meaningful life - and wants to help others from similar backgrounds do the same. *********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
11/10/22·2m 53s

Special Announcement!!

We're changing direction. After 98 episodes and 2 years making Our Voices, I've decided to switch the focus of the show. It will now be called Stories of Men: Beneath the Surface. I want to continue our positive impact, but challenges around the theme of masculinity have been present throughout my whole life. It's where my passion currently lies, and it's where I feel I can have the biggest positive impact. Thank you for your support so far, and I'm looking forward to growing this community with a sharper focus, and a deeper connection.
10/10/22·3m 51s

8. The long journey from emotional breakdown to recovery

Darren openly discusses the plethora of negative feelings that contributed to his emotional breakdown on his way to work. He was working in finance. It was an industry that had provided him with the good life. However, he knew that something deep down was not right. He had been drinking too much and struggling to sleep at night. All of this came to a head on one fateful morning. “I physically stopped. I stopped and I looked at this big glass building and these big doors that I've walked in so many times. I couldn't. It was as if my legs had grown roots.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
04/10/22·27m 0s

7. Discovering the antidote to toxic masculinity

Tim discusses his struggle with expressing emotions. He also talks about the way in which his outbursts of temper are linked to societal expectations. Working as a delivery driver, Tim already had a strained relationship with his manager but, after a particularly bad day at work, he found himself losing control in a way which would make him deeply reflect on both his emotions and his identity.“I literally have a switch in my brain go off… I went off like a bloody rocket.  And I shouted at her and I must have shouted for like two seconds. But I said, don't you bloody tell me to calm down.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
27/09/22·26m 35s

6. Finding freedom from alcohol by learning to talk

Kenny discusses his struggles with drinking and his battle to stay alcohol-free. He reflects on how alcohol use damaged his relationships with his wife and children. He also discusses how support from Andy’s Man Club has helped him to turn his life around. Through the simple act of talking about his experiences, Kenny has learnt to take control of his drinking and become the husband and father he always wanted to be.“There's actually a photo on my Facebook of me sat on the living room floor. And it was my youngest daughter at the time, putting stickers all over my face… But my daughter is having the time of her life, whereas I'm sitting opposite not wanting to be there, not wanting to live.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
20/09/22·23m 34s

5. Sir John Battle on expressing an unpopular opinion

John discusses a particularly intense confrontation caused by the expression of an unpopular opinion. In Leeds in 1981, John was taking part in a local council meeting. The debate that was taking place was in regards to travellers. John would be the only person in that room to stand up for a maligned constituent of the local community and he would be forced to confront the consequences of expressing his views. “I felt quite threatened really, you know, I thought, is this guy going to come? And are we going to have an open fight at the back of the council meeting? And I kind of felt, well, we've gone beyond words here.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
13/09/22·25m 59s

4. John Munro on the vulnerability of being under financial stress

John discusses his vulnerability when experiencing financial stress and his reluctance to open up about his financial situation to his family. He talks about his initial desire to hide the reality of his difficult situation from his family. He then describes the subsequent feelings of guilt when he realised that he was cutting out the people he should have been doing his utmost to let in. “I struggled for breath. I could feel it. It's a horrible feeling, almost like you're drowning. And you want to reach out for something, you know, reach out for that lifebelt… I was desperately trying to think - where can I get some money from to make this problem go away.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
06/09/22·16m 36s

3. Adam Bland on his struggles with letting go of control

Adam speaks about his difficulties in letting go of control after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. He talks about the initial concerns of being unable to resolve his health problems. He then goes on to discuss his fears about how having a chronic condition could impact both his family life and his career. Eventually, he reveals how learning to talk about his problems gave him the tools to get his concerns into perspective. “We're all weird. We're all strange, because we're all individual. No two people are really ever the same. But we've all got extremely similar experiences.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
30/08/22·27m 46s

2. Leon Ward, The fear of Letting People Down

A dangerous and intense storm thrashed the boat. Leon at the helm, with his crews life in his hands. Today, we hear about Leon Ward’s fear of letting people down as he talks about the actions he took, or didn't take that day. The storm occurred while he was participating in an annual sailing competition and he saw that it posed a genuine danger to his and his team-mates’ lives. He discusses feeling, for the first time, as if he had fundamentally reached his limit.“I did everything I was supposed to do except for this one thing. And this one thing just sits there as a problem for me… I let everybody down.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
23/08/22·27m 7s

1. Alex Melia on Processing Trauma

Alex Melia, the founder of the Our Voices podcast, discusses the traumatic experience of being the victim of a brutal attack on the streets of Mexico. He also reveals how, in the aftermath of the attack, he began to experience panic attacks for the first time in many years. All of this caused him to reflect on the expectations of masculinity and saw him go on a journey which led back to unresolved childhood trauma.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
16/08/22·22m 33s

Season trailer: On men & masculinity

This season, we're asking what does it mean to be a man in the modern era? and how can we become better every day. I’m to discover how men are dealing with conflicting expectations. And I’m going to take you along for the ride.We’ll learn how to process failure, and deal with confrontation. When to stand up for what you believe in, and how to manage being on the brink of bankruptcy. But first up, I’m going to tell you my story. It's about an event, just a couple of months ago, that made me reassess, and question everything.Join me, Alex Melia as we discover what it means to be a man in 2022.
15/08/22·2m 1s

8. The Maths Teacher who Shaped Esther Ferrant’s Future

Esther was a model student at school. She was a member of multiple extra-curricular groups and she excelled in all of her subjects. Well, there was one exception: maths. If it hadn’t been for a particularly dedicated teacher, Esther may never have learned how to make sense of this subject. But not only did Esther achieve an improbably high maths grade, she also became a maths teacher herself. “I guess it's just a testament to what perseverance and a change of mindset can do. I'm not going to claim by any stretch that I was suddenly some miraculous wiz at mathematics; that was hard work, graft and a lot of patience from a very committed teacher. But that day I was just shaking.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
09/08/22·15m 11s

7. Abigail Phillips on Why She Rejected her Prosthetic Arm

Abigail was born with one arm and faced pressure from both her doctor and the wider community to wear a prosthetic arm in order to fit in. But Abigail has never been particularly interested in fitting in. Instead, she has found a way to live her life on her own terms. She describes her sense of confidence and single-mindedness as largely being inspired by her mum. “A group of people who were like minded came together and were able to build something that changes people's lives. And that, for me, is an important part of my life. And it's a result of all of the people who've touched it.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
02/08/22·16m 28s

6. Tinu Cornish on Her Experiences of Racism at School

Tinu talks about her experiences of growing up and experiencing racism at school. At the time, racism was institutionalised and virtually ever-present in Tinu’s school life. However, there was one place where Tinu felt safe and there was one special teacher whom she had always remembered fondly. It wasn’t until she returned to her old school for a final reunion that she realised how her special teacher had actually let her down. “It’s the moment where everything you thought you knew about something completely changes. They say when you're dying that your life flashes in front of your eyes. It's that sort of experience in reverse where basically you sort of unwind a whole history, a whole narrative.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
26/07/22·15m 0s

5. Siobhan Miller, A Proud Single Mum and Birthing Entrepreneur

Siobhan is a proud single mum who founded The Positive Birth Company. She talks about her difficult relationship with her mother as a teenager and how she had to make a life-changing decision when discovering she was pregnant as a young single woman. She also discusses the ways in which her attitude towards her mum has developed as she has begun to see the positive influence she has had.“I absolutely wanted to prove that you're all wrong. It was only my mum that was saying it, but I felt like the general kind of societal attitude towards me was, ‘you're going to be a young single good for nothing mother’. And I was determined to not be that.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
19/07/22·17m 26s

4. An Enduring Bond between Father and Daughter, Sunetra Gupta

We learn about the special bond between father and daughter. Sunetra recounts how her father, Dhruba, has been a life-long inspiration. She also discusses how she and her own daughters have embraced the values he espoused. It all began back in India when she would discuss politics and art with her father and his friends. Now she has a fulfilling career in the UK and her father’s influence continues to loom large.“your real goals are to achieve happiness, fulfilment, and to be able to care for others and to be able to do something that makes you feel like you’ve achieved your purpose in life. And that's not something anyone can endorse externally.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
12/07/22·12m 48s

3. James Cridland on Building a Sense of Community through the Airwaves

James talks about how the power of technology can create a sense of community. He recalls the unifying role the radio played while living in a remote village in Somerset. He then goes on to discuss how a shared appreciation for technology created opportunities for bonding at school. Finally, he details how he has pursued his love of communications technology in the workplace, a journey which has taken him all the way to Australia. “Radio and audio are able to give you an awful amount of community feeling, an awful amount of company, companionship.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
05/07/22·13m 47s

2. How the Power of Words Shaped Roger Frampton's Career

We are taken on the evolving journey of the life of Roger. He was a carpenter who went on to become a model and is now a public fitness coach. Roger’s journey has taken him around the world and seen him work with some of the biggest global brands. He recounts some of his life-changing conversations and how the power of words has shaped him along the way.“When you're with someone, really be with them, really be present, really listen to the words that are leaving their mouth, because those words can be gold dust. And you could be looking back on a conversation in 10 years’ time going, oh I really needed to hear those words.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
28/06/22·11m 10s

1. How key role models propelled the career of CEO, Sara Sutcliffe

Sara Sutcliffe is the current CEO of the Royal Yachting Association. She has had an eventful and fascinating career, including working on the team that secured London’s bid for the 2012 Olympics. She discusses working with prominent politicians such as the late Tessa Jowell and the current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. She also provides her reflections on the role models who have had the biggest influence on her throughout her journey. “The first thing I say to people who work with me is: you have absolute permission to make mistakes, what you don't have permission to do is to try and cover them up. Please just be honest.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
21/06/22·13m 43s

Season trailer: On role models

This season, we're looking at the impact of role models. How people found their role models, what happens when you grow up without a role model, and how to be a good one for others.Here's to all the Role models out there, you know who you are, and you're great! Keep on paying it forward.
20/06/22·2m 0s

8. Living a full life with a learning disability, Ciara Lawrence

Ciara was born with a learning disability but she has refused to accept the limitations that society has outlined for her. Despite having struggles at school and being told that she would not be able to live a full life, she has drawn inspiration from others, including her supportive and successful cousin, The Edge from U2. This has helped her to find a way to unleash her own potential.“Just because you have a learning disability, it doesn't make you any different. It just means you might need some extra support in your life. And everybody has some kind of difficulty in their life. Everybody has barriers.” *********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
14/06/22·19m 39s

7. Making it Through the Education System with Face Blindness and Autism, Ben Foulsham

Ben, a 17-year-old student with autism is preparing for his A-levels, and excited about the prospect of going to university. He's fortunate to have a big sister, Ruth, who has been giving him advice on how best to prepare for the next potential phase of his life. “The best way for me to describe it is it means I think differently, and my brain is wired completely differently to anyone else. It's a different way of living, a different way of seeing the world. And the reason why it's a disability is because the world is not built for autistic people. It's built for non autistic people.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
07/06/22·20m 11s

6. Achieving Independence in a Wheelchair with Ric Cassell

Since contracting polio as a child, Ric has been in a wheelchair for most of his life; however, he has proven himself to be particularly resourceful. With his personal mantra of “there’s no such word as can’t”, Ric has found a way to do things that many would assume would be beyond his ability; including, raising his children as a stay at home dad and competing in the London Marathon.“Having a disability is just an impairment. It's not the end of your life or anything. It's just something that needs to be addressed. And far more of what makes you disabled is the social environment around you, rather than what you can't do.” *********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
31/05/22·16m 51s

5. "We feel like a fizzy bottle of coke that is being constantly shaken" with Issy Hamlett

Issy is a woman who is living with Fibromyalgia. She talks about her powerful imagination and the uniqueness that characterises her personality. She also reflects on the way that her differences have made her life particularly challenging as both a child and an adult. More recently she has been able to make her voice heard and she plans to use it to fight for a more empathetic and inclusive society.“I sat there, and I just cried. I said, I am just so proud of myself, that I have been able to ignore my inner saboteur and my inner demons and that I've got myself to a position where I can be interviewed for a job role that I am desperately wanting to do, and a job where people are gonna listen to me. And I'm going to be able to impact other people's lives and make a difference and make a change.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
24/05/22·17m 54s

4. Coming to Terms with Sight Loss, Seema Flower

As a child, Seema was a big fan of cars. Her father was a car mechanic and she would roam around his garage and pretend to drive the cars. “My passion was being able to drive. I always thought, when I grew up, I'll have a car, I'll be able to stop at the petrol station, I’ll go and stop and get some shopping. So I used to roleplay all this sort of stuff when I was about 6, 7, 8.” “The thing is, when you have a disability, you have so many restrictions already. When COVID-19 hit, basically, it made life much more difficult for people who are vulnerable and disabled. It exacerbated the situation of people like myself… I was sick and tired.. I just wanted to have my own freedom back.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
17/05/22·17m 50s

3. Using Technology to Promote Disability Awareness with Gavin Neate

Gavin is someone who is passionate about promoting disability awareness. He has also made fighting for equality and fairness a principle objective in his life. After working with people with disabilities for a number of years he became aware of how much discrimination such individuals often face due to simple ignorance. He has now made it his mission to change attitudes towards disability by using technology.“What we are doing when we make sure everybody in our society has access to information is we are changing the way society interacts. Now, this is such a big idea. It's massive.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
10/05/22·15m 36s

2. Achieving Paralympic Success Following a Life-changing Injury with Alexandra Rickham

Alexandra is a British-Jamaican woman who suffered a life-changing injury as a teenager and went on to become an award-winning Paralympian. Following a diving accident while swimming in Jamaica, it took many months of rehabilitation and readjustment for Alexandra to be able to relearn how to be independent. Her story shows her ability not only to adapt to the circumstances of her disability, but to find a way to prosper.“I basically ran into the water and dived. And the next thing I knew, I opened my eyes and I was looking at the sea floor… I tried to move, I couldn't, I tried again to move, I couldn't. And at that point in time, I knew what had happened.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
03/05/22·18m 0s

1. Overcoming Barriers by Taking a Positive Attitude Towards Disability with Clare Gray

Episode summary: Clare has taken a positive attitude towards disability. She was born with a neuromuscular condition which meant that she required a lot of support as a child. Yet she was also born into a loving family who did not view her condition as simply an inconvenience. As far as Clare’s family were concerned, she was no different to anyone else and she should have the aspirations of any other child.“As a child, I thought, I'm going to do something. I don't know what it is but I'm going to do something.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
26/04/22·16m 36s

Season trailer: On Living With Disability

The new season of Our Voices is out tomorrow!This season we'll be hearing what it's like to live in the UK with a disability. Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
25/04/22·1m 47s

8. Learning to Embrace Solo Travel and Self-Discovery with Kate Wills

We will hear a story about travel and self-discovery. Kate is a travel journalist and writer who lives in London. She talks about the origins of her love of travelling and about the difficult relationship she had with her mother while growing up. She also discusses how she found the confidence to take her own path in life, rather than following in the footsteps of her peers.“You can't rewrite your childhood, but you can start the next chapter on your own terms.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
19/04/22·16m 7s

7. "Can my friends come?'' - The Power of Uplifting Communities with Elizabeth Gowing

This is an inspirational story of community. Elizabeth is a teacher and campaigner who lives in Kosovo. Originally she planned on living in the country for 6 months having joined her husband on a work placement. Sixteen years later and they are both still there. Elizabeth has established the third biggest charity in the country called “The Ideas Partnership”, where she helps those from the least privileged communities.“So I went to the Ministry of Education. And I said I think there's a misunderstanding, I think this head teacher is saying that this girl can't come to school. And the woman at the Ministry of Education said to me ah, no, they're just too hard to teach. And so that really drove me mad. The idea of any child being considered too hard to teach.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
12/04/22·20m 19s

6. Trailblazing Electrochemist On Challenging Sexism in Science with Lesley Yellowlees

Lesley is a leading figure within the field of chemistry and has spent most of her career as a researcher at the University of Edinburgh. She has had to overcome sexism in order to achieve success at the highest level. We learn about her contrasting experiences while studying science at school and university. We also learn how she now believes the most important thing in life is giving back.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
05/04/22·14m 22s

5. “It Was a Rebirth”: Karen Robertson on the Courage it Took to Gender Transition

Karen was born and raised in rural Scotland and she has always had an appreciation for outdoor sports, particularly sailing. From a very young age, however, she had sensed that something was not as it should be in her life. Karen was living her life as a male but knew that she should’ve been born a girl.Here is the story of Karen’s long and challenging journey of self-discovery.“I was expecting the worst. I was expecting to be laughed at and ridiculed and never to be taken seriously again, but what I actually got was an outpouring of support and love from all these people I used to work with. It was one of the most empowering things I’ve ever had”Listener warning - this episode contains reference to suicidal thoughts.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
29/03/22·19m 3s

4. Burns Survivor on Embracing Scars and Becoming “Woman of the Year” with Sylvia Mac

Sylvia Mac, one of 2020’s Women of the Year, discusses the physical and psychological impacts of a horrific accident she experienced when she was just 2-and-a-half years old. She discusses the challenges of being a burns survivor. She also talks about how embracing her body has helped to provide psychological healing and given her the courage to challenge societal attitudes towards non-typical standards of beauty. “I don't blame her for anything. I don’t blame her for the accident. I just praise her for being that strong woman that brought me up, cared for me, because now I've got a really strong, caring, supportive character.”*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
22/03/22·23m 8s

3. Pioneering Female Physicist on Challenging Sexism in the Workplace with Dame Athene Donald

Athene is a pioneering female physicist who has had to overcome prejudice and discrimination as she has gone on to excel in her career. Her experiences show how males’ attitudes within the scientific community so often act as a barrier to women becoming involved in science. We learn how Athene has used her experiences and success to combat this and encourage women to pursue their scientific ambitions.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
15/03/22·15m 52s

2. Award Winning Water Sports Instructor on Challenging Sexist Preconceptions with Nicola Stockdale

This is a story about females triumphing against the odds. Nicola is 22 years old and is a senior instructor with the RYA - the UK’s Royal Yachting Association. She talks about growing up in a single-parent family and about how her mother has been a life-long inspiration. She also reflects on the times she has been underestimated by males. And how she has spectacularly forced them to reevaluate their assumptions.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
08/03/22·18m 0s

1. From Living with Hearing Loss to Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur with Pinky Lilani

Pinky Lilani is an entrepreneur who has a passion for food. She describes how she grew up in a culture in which men were supposed to be the breadwinners. She also talks about her anguish at experiencing hearing loss in the midst of her newfound career. Finally, she reflects on how support from a kind friend and an inner-determination to succeed saw her overcome these challenges to achieve lasting success.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
01/03/22·15m 52s

Season trailer: Celebrating Women in the UK

The new season of Our Voices is out tomorrow!This season we'll be Celebrating Women in the UK. Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
28/02/22·1m 47s

8. Racism in the UK - Celebrated Filmmaker Talks About Growing Up Black in Scotland - with Stewart Kyasimire

We hear a story of isolation and betrayal. We also learn how Stewart has taken motivation from his most hurtful experiences to try to create a better world for his children. Stewart is a black, Bafta-nominated director, who recently directed the film “Black and Scottish”. The film is very personal to his own experiences as he moved to Scotland at the age of two after being born in Kenya.  *********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
22/02/22·15m 52s

7. Racism in the UK - The Brutality of Racism and Hate Crime - with Zainab Khan

We hear the story of a devastating racist attack. We also learn how Dr Zainab Khan is using the trauma she has suffered to help others. Zainab has a PhD as a trained barrister and she is also Pro-Vice Chancellor at London Metropolitan University. But her journey to becoming a high-achiever has been made especially challenging by the discrimination and racial violence that she has suffered.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
15/02/22·16m 34s

6. Racism in the UK - Racism at the BBC didn't stop Natasha Asghar

Natasha is the Welsh Senedd’s first woman of colour and has become one of the few representatives of ethnic minorities in Welsh politics. Yet it took five elections and a long battle against discrimination for her to achieve her goal. She also had to rethink her initial career ambitions. Her career path changed due to a particularly uncomfortable interview at the BBC and some words of wisdom from her father.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
08/02/22·13m 53s

5. Racism in the UK - Living with Racial Prejudice with Mark Esho

Mark, a serial entrepreneur and social activist, talks about how he has found a way to remain positive amidst the discrimination he has faced as a black man with a disability. He was born to Nigerian parents in Leicester in the 1960s. And, at the tender age of 5, he was given a 10% chance of survival after contracting polio. Since then, Mark has not only survived, he has thrived.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
01/02/22·12m 43s

4. Racism in the UK - Attacked on a train with Graham Campbell, SNP Councillor

Graham is a veteran campaigner and activist, he is also Glasgow Council’s first ever Afro-Caribbean councillor. He was born in London to a Jamaican father and a Granadian mother and he is Rastafarian. Graham grew up with a sense of confidence in his multiple identities but he has found himself a victim of racist abuse on numerous occasions. Shockingly, his most recent experience is among the worst.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
25/01/22·14m 19s

3. Racism in the UK - The Northern Irish Police Officer Fighting Racism with Andy George

Andy is a police officer of both Malaysian and Northern Irish heritage. He is also a father of three children and president of the National Black Police Association, an organisation which represents police officers of ethnic minorities across the UK. In many ways, it is Andy’s experiences while growing up which have influenced his desire to stand up to racism as part of his profession.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
18/01/22·12m 52s

2. Racism in the UK - The Harsh Reality Facing Aisha, a Female Muslim Skateboarder

Aisha is a Muslim and has been the victim of a form of discrimination which has caused particular strife in Britain; namely, Islamophobia. She was born and raised in the Middle East but she came to London initially to study. She talks about being made to feel different to others and how she has used her passion for skateboarding as a way to challenge preconceptions of Muslim women.*********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
11/01/22·11m 46s

1. Racism in the UK - From Discrimination to Acceptance with Dina Nayeri

This week we hear the story of Dina. She is an Iranian refugee who has had contrasting experiences of living abroad. She discusses the way in which she has been both brutalised and embraced in her adopted countries and her experience of racism in the UK.Life in IranDina grew up in Iran during the mid ‘80s. It was a time of revolution and, as a result, she had “a tumultuous childhood”. There were, however, positive memories of that period too. Dina remembers the time spent together as a family, at her grandparents house. With her grandfather’s rambling stories and her grandmother’s epic feasts. It was a happy time. A magical experienceYet, at 6 years old, Dina had the chance to travel to the UK. Her aunt, Who lived in London, was getting married. The plan was for Dina to spend a few months in London and then return to Iran after the wedding. Dina reflects on the “storybook houses” she saw in London and she speaks with great excitement about being able to eat fresh bananas for the first time. The confectionery of the UK was something she also appreciated. She describes Maltesers as “a miracle of culinary perfection.” She says being in London was “magical because it was so Western…so foreign”. During this time, Dina’s mother would convert to Christianity..... *********************Check out the Stories Of Men website for more on this storyWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
04/01/22·15m 1s

Season trailer: On Racism in the UK

The new season of Our Voices is out tomorrow!Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
03/01/22·1m 33s

Christmas Throwback 6/6 - Joan Pons Laplana from the NHS Season - Family and Relationships

In our sixth and last Christmas throwback:The first episode of “Our Voices” centres around one-time “nurse of the year” Joan, an intensive care nurse who was born in Barcelona and travelled to work in the UK after experiencing a lack of job opportunities in Spain. He tells a story of how caring for a patient after a motorcycle accident taught him that human connection is the most important and powerful tool a nurse has to offer.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
02/01/22·12m 18s

Christmas Throwback 5/6 - Carlos Adams from the Lockdown season - Family and Relationships

In our fifth Christmas throwback:Carlos is a single father of a 10-year-old daughter and a fifteen-year-old son. We hear about the struggles Carlos has faced trying to support his son in the midst of his son’s antisocial and violent behaviour. After threatening his mother with violence and being arrested by the police, it looked as if the situation had become completely untenable. Then lockdown intervened and became, possibly, the best thing that ever happened.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
30/12/21·12m 29s

Christmas Throwback 4/6 - Ella & Luke from the Lockdown season - Family and Relationships

In our fourth Christmas throwback:Here we get the rare opportunity of hearing the voices of children who have been impacted by lockdown. Andrea has spoken previously on the podcast but this time she is accompanied by her eldest daughter, 9-year-old Ella, and her son, 7-year-old Luke. Listening to their reflections we are able to hear how these children have been impacted by lockdown restrictions and how they have found ways of coping during these challenging times.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
28/12/21·13m 19s

Christmas Throwback 3/6 - Katie from NHS Million, on the NHS Season - Family and Relationships

In our third Christmas throwback:Katie is a Kid’s Doctor who describes the challenges that working in the NHS can pose. To address this, she became involved in establishing a forum called “NHS Million”. As well as creating a marketing campaign for the NHS choir to beat Justin Beiber to the Christmas number 1 spot, this forum provides NHS workers with a space in which they can talk about the psychological issues that they are facing.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
26/12/21·14m 29s

Christmas Throwback 2/6 - Mike McCarthy from the Lockdown Season - Family and Relationships

In our second Christmas throwback:This episode looks at the heartbreaking struggle of Ross: a son, father and fiancé, who took his own life in the midst of lockdown at the age of 31. We hear from Ross’s father, Mike, who reflects on the challenges his son faced and how, as a society, we could do more to help those who are battling serious mental health challenges.If you've been affected by any of the issues highlighted in this episode, please speak to someone. CALM and Samaritans are always there to help.Campaign Against Living Miserably - https://www.thecalmzone.net/Samaritans - https://www.samaritans.org/Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
23/12/21·16m 52s

Christmas Throwback 1/6 - Rema from the NHS Season - Family and Relationships

In our first Christmas throwback:Rema’s story introduces us to an incredible experience of conflict, suffering and survival. While working as a doctor in Libya, she recounts operating in the midst of a civil war. The starkness of this reality is made even more vivid by her description of colleagues dying in front of her and the threat of violence and death facing her while she was trying to do her job.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
21/12/21·11m 55s

Christmas announcement

Today Producer Sam joins Alex to have a Christmas catchup and review the year. Listen out for Alex's announcement for what we'll be covering on in the upcoming season in the new year. Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
20/12/21·10m 22s

8. Climate Change - Chris Long - On Preventing The Death of our Oceans

Chris left school at the age of 16 but, very quickly, he found a stimulating project to get his teeth into. He began travelling to Africa and the Middle East to help them improve their farming methods. From there, he set up Sports Aid to help combat famine in Africa. Through a project called Earth Dive, he is now working on saving the entire planet.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
14/12/21·14m 10s

7. Climate Change - Lee Krevat - On a Mission to Change the World and avoid a Climate Crisis

Lee, who now dedicates his life to education and innovation regarding Climate Change, talks about his sense of mission first developing at an early age during conversations with his grandmother. He describes how she “spoke to me like an adult, not a child”. Interactions with his grandmother got Lee thinking: “how can I do something different that will help people and change the world.”Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
07/12/21·13m 3s

6. Climate Change - Louise Romain - On Fighting to End Ecocide

Louise works for Stop Ecocide International, an organisation which is attempting to criminalise “mass destruction to ecosystems” at the International Criminal Court. Her love for nature came at an early age when she spent time rock-climbing and kayaking with her father. Her father also instilled in her a sense of global awareness. He insisted that she always ate her food because “every 5 seconds a child dies of hunger on earth”.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
30/11/21·12m 2s

5. Climate Change - Steven Beschloss - On the Devastating Effect of Extreme Weather Events

Steven is a professor and award-winning journalist who has developed a unique and enriching perspective of nature. From early childhood, he reports having a fascination with nature due to witnessing the extreme weather events taking place around him. He describes seeing tornadoes ripping up surrounding trees, some of which almost fell on his house. He also relates spending time with his mother indoors watching the majesty of a lightning storm and “their intense visions”.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
23/11/21·11m 7s

4. Climate Change - Tara Bellerose - On Learning to Live with Nature

Tara, a climate change influencer, content creator and young farmer has a particular affection for animals. Her interest in Climate Change came about when she came across a video of a turtle in a cup. This video highlighted the plight that animals such as turtles face due to the way in which human beings have changed the planet. “These innocent animals were being impacted by what we were doing as a species”.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
16/11/21·11m 13s

3. Climate Change - Simon Clark - On Enacting Change & Lowering Emissions

Physics and sci-fi enthusiast, Simon Clark, has embraced modern communications in order to educate his audience on protecting the earth’s atmosphere. Simon describes himself as someone who was always extremely curious, even as a child. His curiosity extended to science. As a teenager, when deciding on his future studies, he noted “all the cool stuff is in physics… from that point on, I knew I wanted to do a Physics degree”.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
09/11/21·16m 22s

2. Climate Change - Rollie Williams - On Pollution & Forest Fires

Rollie Williams made the unlikely transition from young comedian to Climate Change activist.Originally from Colorado, Rollie moved to New York with the aim of becoming a successful comedian. He was beginning to make an impression and, pretty soon after arriving, he was asked to perform a show at Brooklyn Theatre. Not sure exactly what to do, Rollie decided he would experiment with a comedy routine based around Climate Change.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
02/11/21·10m 3s

1. Climate Change - Dave Borlace - On Renewable Energy

Dave began his journey of climate consciousness when he began building a cabin outside of his house for use as an office. As he was doing so, he attempted to install solar panels to reduce his carbon footprint and he made use of YouTube for advice on how to do this. However, his YouTube investigations soon went much further as he began to learn about Climate Change and its serious dangers.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
26/10/21·9m 27s

Season trailer: On Climate Change

The new season of Our Voices is almost here!Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
22/10/21·1m 42s

7. Lockdown - May Parsons - On Administering the First Covid-19 Vaccine

 Do you remember that iconic moment the first UK vaccine was administered? Well, here we hear the story of the nurse who provided it, her name is May Parsons. May was originally born in the Philippines. She had a challenging childhood in which, at just 5 years old, she witnessed the brutal murder of her father during New Year’s Eve celebrations. Recovering from this loss became the challenge of her childhood.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
19/10/21·9m 58s

6. Lockdown - Steven Garden - On Shedding Over 140 Pounds During Lockdown

As a child, Steven describes having a violently negative reaction to the very concept of consuming almost all food: “There were only about 5 different foods I’d eat as a child” these included bread, cereals, french fries and ice cream. This hardly provided Steven with the basis for a healthy diet but he was genuinely worried that having a piece of chicken or steak would bring about a severe allergic reaction.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
12/10/21·15m 18s

5. Lockdown - Ella and Luke - On Being a Kid During Lockdown

Here we get the rare opportunity of hearing the voices of children who have been impacted by lockdown. Andrea has spoken previously on the podcast but this time she is accompanied by her eldest daughter, 9-year-old Ella, and her son, 7-year-old Luke. Listening to their reflections we are able to hear how these children have been impacted by lockdown restrictions and how they have found ways of coping during these challenging times.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
05/10/21·12m 50s

4. Lockdown - Carlos Adams - On Parenting a Troubled Teen During Lockdown

Carlos is a single father of a 10-year-old daughter and a fifteen-year-old son. We hear about the struggles Carlos has faced trying to support his son in the midst of his son’s antisocial and violent behaviour. After threatening his mother with violence and being arrested by the police, it looked as if the situation had become completely untenable. Then lockdown intervened and became, possibly, the best thing that ever happened.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
28/09/21·12m 0s

3. Lockdown - Matthew Easton - On Seeing the Person Before the Condition

Phoebe is a nine-year-old girl who happens to have Down’s Syndrome. Her father, Matthew, describes how in so many ways she is just like any other little girl. Yet, he recounts the ways in which people often seem subconsciously conditioned to view his daughter as a condition rather than as a person. This is an attitude he is determined to challenge to provide the best possible future for his daughter.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
21/09/21·9m 35s

2. Lockdown - Chrissy Kelly - On Food Banks During Lockdown

Chrissy is a woman who has many strings to her bow, including being a tutor, a coach and a poet. She was living on her own in London when the lockdown was announced and she found herself feeling particularly isolated. As a result, when there was a call for people to help at her local food bank, she answered that call immediately and discovered her help was very much needed.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
14/09/21·10m 3s

1. Lockdown - Mike McCarthy - On his Son's Depression and Suicide

This episode looks at the heartbreaking struggle of Ross: a son, father and fiancé, who took his own life in the midst of lockdown at the age of 31. We hear from Ross’s father, Mike, who reflects on the challenges his son faced and how, as a society, we could do more to help those who are battling serious mental health challenges.If you've been affected by any of the issues highlighted in this episode, please speak to someone. CALM and Samaritans are always there to help.Campaign Against Living Miserably - https://www.thecalmzone.net/Samaritans - https://www.samaritans.org/Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
07/09/21·16m 23s

Season trailer: Through Lockdown

The new season of Our Voices is almost here!Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
06/09/21·1m 33s

7. Olympics - Tony Jeffries, Olympic boxer

Tony grew up as a “tall, skinny, freckled kid” in Sunderland and went from being picked on at school to boxing for Great Britain at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Much of Tony’s success was down to his father’s encouragement and insistence that he train and develop his boxing skills. When Tony eventually won his Olympic medal, the first person he would thank would be his father.Visit www.tonyjeffries.com to find out more about Tony.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
31/08/21·14m 0s

6. Paralympics - Susie Rodgers, Paralympic Swimmer

Susie, a gold-medal winning former Paralympic swimmer, has overcome the odds on multiple occasions in order to achieve at the highest level. She was born with disabilities which have required her to wear prosthetic limbs since childhood. Rather than expressing regret, Susie articulates her gratitude to the support she received from the NHS. Right from her early years, it’s clear that Susie’s attitude has been one of positivity and possibility.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
24/08/21·13m 25s

5. Olympics - Tom Bosworth, Tokyo Olympian, Race Walking

Tom is an Olympic race walker who holds three world best titles and six British records. Although Tom was involved in athletics from an early age, after his first race for Great Britain did not go well, he fell out of love with the sport and decided to follow his cousin’s suggestion to volunteer at a summer camp in America. This was a decision that would change his life.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
17/08/21·11m 51s

4. Olympics - Holly Bradshaw, Tokyo Olympian, Pole Vault

Holly’s story allows us to take a contemporary look at the Olympic experience. She is a pole vaulter who is preparing to compete in her 3rd Olympic Games in Tokyo. Holly talks about the anxieties she experienced as a child when doing sport for the first time and how these anxieties resurfaced as she was exposed to the challenges that come with being a high-profile athlete.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
10/08/21·13m 45s

3. Olympics - Frazer Clarke, Tokyo Olympian, Superheavyweight boxer

Frazer, a superheavyweight boxer, has spent 12 years on the Team GB Olympic boxing team. It is a record period of time. During previous tournaments, he has lost out on making the Olympics to illustrious GB competitors, such as current unified Heavyweight Champion: Anthony Joshua, and current WBO mandatory challenger: Joe Joyce. But, despite not achieving his dreams on those occasions, Frazer has refused to give up on his ambitions.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
03/08/21·12m 35s

2. Olympics - Garry Cook, Olympic silver medalist, 4x 400m

Garry Cook is a former Olympic athlete who won a silver medal in the 1984 Olympic Games relay race. He is the husband of Kathy, a former guest of the podcast who also achieved Olympic glory. Just like Kathy, Garry attributes much of his success to the people who supported him as he was growing up. Speaking about his Junior Coach, he says “90% of my success was down to him”.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
27/07/21·11m 14s

1. Olympics - Kathy Smallwood-Cook, Olympic Sprinter, 3x medalist

Kathy is a former Olympic sprinter. She is a three-time bronze medallist and competed for Great Britain at the 1980 and 1984 Olympic games. She recounts her journey into sprinting and the experiences that helped to shape her achievements. What is striking about Kathy’s story is hearing about the number of key individuals who were present at the right time to guide her towards her ultimate achievement.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
20/07/21·14m 1s

Season trailer: Our Voices at the Olympics

A new season of Our Voices is here! This time featuring Team GB Olympics athletes past and present.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesWe're also on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramA Fascinate Production
19/07/21·1m 29s

28. NHS - Katie, NHS Millions Director & Paediatrician

Katie is a Kid’s Doctor who describes the challenges that working in the NHS can pose. To address this, she became involved in establishing a forum called “NHS Million”. As well as creating a marketing campaign for the NHS choir to beat Justin Beiber to the Christmas number 1 spot, this forum provides NHS workers with a space in which they can talk about the psychological issues that they are facing.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
13/07/21·13m 57s

27. NHS - Helen, NHS Recruiter

Helen has “one of the best jobs ever.” Her job is to recruit nurses from abroad to work in the NHS. She describes her job as being very busy, with a daughter and three step-sons, she also has an extremely busy home-life, yet, she describes herself as being blessed: “I get to meet people with so many wonderful stories to tell from all parts of the world.”Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
09/07/21·10m 31s

26. NHS - Ellie, Occupational Therapist

Ellie is an occupational therapist who began working for the NHS in July 2020 during the height of the pandemic. She describes her initial experiences as being a long way from what she had envisioned. She relates being confronted with ill patients who were ventilated on tubes and describes the psychological toll of having to deal with the death of both her patients and her own family members during the pandemic.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
06/07/21·11m 35s

25. NHS - Sophie, Occupational Therapist

Sophie is an occupational therapist. During the height of the pandemic, she worked in an acute stroke ward where she was charged with caring for patients who had experienced significant cognitive, physical or sensory deficits. It was her role to help these patients attempt to regain independence in their lives. In this episode she reflects on the determination of a particular patient she cared for who presented in a severe condition.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
29/06/21·10m 34s

24. NHS - Andrea, Pathologist, Herefordshire

Andrea is a laboratory pathologist who suddenly finds herself on the other side of the doctor-patient divide. Specialising in analysing and detecting changes in cells and tissue in the body, her main role is to identify diseases, particularly cancer. She had previously been able to detach herself from the potentially life changing news that she would give. Her perspective changed dramatically, however, when her husband was diagnosed with rectal cancer.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
22/06/21·13m 8s

23. NHS - Dr Waheed Arian - In the Wars

Dr Waheed is a former refugee born in Afghanistan, whose journey to reach the UK was fraught with danger and difficulty. Afghanistan was in the midst of conflict when Dr Waheed was born. Soviet troops had entered the country making it necessary for him and his family to flee on multiple occasions. As a small boy, he found himself living in conditions of extreme poverty in a refugee camp in Pakistan.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
15/06/21·11m 47s

22. NHS - Rich, Nurse, Manchester

Rich is a critical care nurse who is a proud member of the LGBTQ community and identifies as non-binary.  They begin by talking about the experience which encouraged them to join the NHS. Their grandmother had dementia and eventually it was necessary to admit their grandmother to hospital. Rich was struck by the way the nurses cared for her. They knew at that moment that they wanted to provide the same care for others.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
08/06/21·16m 34s

21. NHS - Rob, Paramedic, Southwest England

Rob is a paramedic who is now in his 20th year of service having started as a volunteer with St John’s Ambulance at the age of 13. He was clearly born to work in the healthcare profession. He describes having always wanted to “help people” and “be part of a community”. In his words: “very few things in life give you the return that helping somebody does”. Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
01/06/21·10m 58s

20. NHS - Emily, Midwife, Southwest England

Emily is a midwife from Southwest England who thrives on being able to connect with her patients. She begins by talking about how the pandemic has impacted the amount of time she actually gets to spend with them due to the time spent applying and removing her PPE. She longs for the time when doing this will once again become unnecessary so that she can go back to focusing only on her patients’ needs and concerns.Thanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereCheck out our website for the latest from Our Voices A Fascinate Production
25/05/21·10m 38s

19. NHS - Ged, Doctor, Manchester

Ged is a director for Health Education England and a clinical surgeon specialising in breast cancer. His path into medicine was anything but typical. As a high-achiever from a low-income family, he was accepted into an all-boys Catholic grammar school. After graduating, the two options that were suggested to him for his future career were either becoming a Catholic priest or becoming a doctor. He opted for the latter.Thanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereCheck out our website for the latest from Our Voices A Fascinate Production
18/05/21·14m 27s

18. NHS - David, Psychotherapist, London

David is a psychotherapist who specialises in end-of-life care.  In his unique position of seeing people in their final moments, he reveals that he “can become something of a secular priest”. The main regret his patients have is that they were “deferring their lives”. The most heartening expressions he has heard before death is that his patients have no regrets and that they did what they wanted to do while they could.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
11/05/21·16m 37s

17. NHS - Tella, Nurse, South of England

Tella is a nurse from the Philippines who has worked in the NHS since 2019. Her story reveals a surprising change in career-path from being on the point of completing a law degree and accepting a place on one of the most competitive internships in the country to deciding to become a nurse and to start a new life in the UK.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
04/05/21·12m 7s

16. NHS - Sarah, Nurse, Manchester

Sarah is a Critical Care Nurse from Jamaica who moved to the UK along with her 16-year-old daughter 2 years ago. The desire to pursue a doctorate in nursing encouraged her to make the move, yet she describes trying to manage the struggles of adapting to a new culture in the midst of global uncertainty and challenge. This challenge is made particularly difficult as Sarah has to repeatedly deal with the passing of her patients.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
27/04/21·14m 31s

15. NHS - Misbah, Nurse, Somerset

Misbah, a nurse from Pakistan, is adjusting to living in the UK while confronting the sadness and trauma of having lost her grandfather during the Covid-19 pandemic. Not being able to attend his funeral due to the global lockdown, she describes being constantly reminded of him when treating her patients. Misbah’s story is deeply connected to family. She also talks about her mother, who was a midwife, being her greatest inspiration.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click here A Fascinate Production
20/04/21·10m 54s

14. NHS - Honey, Nurse, Somerset

Honey is a nurse from India who, 6 months ago, decided to leave her one-year-old daughter and husband behind to work in the NHS. She describes making this decision as “the most painful thing” she has experienced. Despite this, she is motivated by the life that she is in the process of creating for her daughter and the opportunities that her sacrifice will be able to provide.Thanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
13/04/21·11m 39s

13. NHS - Tara, Doctor, Hertfordshire

Tara is a doctor from Nepal who has been working at Watford General Hospital for the last year. Initially, she had no intention of being a practicing doctor: she had studied a Master’s degree in Public Health in the UK and had intended to start a career in research. However, her daughter’s illness encouraged her to take a very different direction which saw her return to front-line practice.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
06/04/21·8m 46s

12. NHS - Vishakha, Doctor, Buckinghamshire

Vishakha is a doctor who travelled from her home in India to work in the NHS just under one year ago. She talks about the struggles she experienced in her native country during her first years in the profession, particularly the pain of being unable to provide treatment to those who needed it because they simply did not have enough money: “Seeing people suffer, you want to help them but you can’t.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
30/03/21·11m 22s

11. NHS - Jelena, Doctor, Essex

Unlike many other foreign nationals who join the NHS, Jelena came here for reasons other than her own professional advancement. In fact, it was her husband’s ambitions of working in the motorsports industry which brought her here. Jelena thus found herself struggling to adapt to a new environment and a new culture, initially describing herself as a “smiling penguin” as she struggled to gain the confidence to understand and speak in English.Thanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
23/03/21·10m 40s

10. NHS - Rema, Doctor, Merseyside

Rema’s story introduces us to an incredible experience of conflict, suffering and survival. While working as a doctor in Libya, she recounts operating in the midst of a civil war. The starkness of this reality is made even more vivid by her description of colleagues dying in front of her and the threat of violence and death facing her while she was trying to do her job.Thanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
16/03/21·12m 13s

9. NHS - Marielle, Nurse, Brighton

Marielle, a Filipino nurse, explains how she has been inspired by the courage and strength of two of the people closest to her. She first speaks about her mum, the person whose example encouraged her to become a nurse and who she credits as being the reason for her being “successful and happy”.  She then talks about the bravery of her friend who had to battle for her life while suffering from coronavirus.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
09/03/21·9m 41s

8. NHS - Resma, Nurse, Somerset

Today we are given a powerful insight into a woman’s journey from a timid college student to a confident nurse. She describes two dramatic incidents which shaped her destiny, both involving the suffering of individuals that she was unable to do anything to prevent. After experiencing this, we learn how Resma made it her life’s mission to do something to save other people’s lives. Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
02/03/21·11m 57s

7. NHS - Midhun, Nurse, Middlesbrough

Today we're introduced to Midhun, a nurse from Kerala, India who began a new life in Middlesbrough one year ago. Midhun’s challenge has not only involved adapting to a brand new life in the UK but also dealing with being separated from his wife and young son. He also talks about managing his most challenging patients. Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
23/02/21·11m 50s

6. NHS - Samantha, Nurse

Samantha: a Sri Lankan nurse who came to work in the UK in 2018. She talks lovingly about her grandfather as the person who has been her greatest inspiration as well as detailing the personal health battles which have helped her connect more deeply with her patients.  Samantha also details the battles she has had both professionally and personally during the COVID crisis.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
16/02/21·10m 26s

5. NHS - Cynthia, Nurse, South-East London

The fifth episode of “Our Voices” tells the story of Cynthia, a nurse from the Philippines who left her home two years ago in order to live and work in the UK. Growing up as the daughter of a pilot, she describes how she was used to being on the move from a young age; however, her decision to move to the UK would be more than just another flight.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
09/02/21·11m 27s

4. NHS - Hussein, Doctor, West Midlands

Today, we learn about Hussein: a Junior Doctor who has taken a winding journey through Africa, the Middle East and Northern Europe to practise medicine in the UK. Hussain recounts growing up during a time of civil war, talking about the violence and chaos he experienced as he and his family were forced to travel to escape from war, hunger, poverty and fear.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
02/02/21·11m 41s

3. NHS - Angel, Nurse, London

Today, we hear from Angel, a Filipino respiratory nurse who came to work in the UK two and a half years ago. She describes how a love for the Royal Family and an appreciation for James Bond motivated her move. She also talks about growing up in a family of healthcare professionals and the challenges she has faced in her nursing career.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
26/01/21·11m 50s

2. NHS - JV, Nurse, London

In the second episode of the series “Our Voices”, we hear the story of JV, a Filipino nurse who came to work in the UK after eight years’ nursing experience in his home country. He talks about the challenges he had to face in order to make his healthcare dreams become reality and the sacrifices that he has had to make along the way.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
22/01/21·14m 46s

1. NHS - Joan Pons Laplana, Nurse, Yorkshire

The first episode of “Our Voices” centres around one-time “nurse of the year” Joan, an intensive care nurse who was born in Barcelona and travelled to work in the UK after experiencing a lack of job opportunities in Spain. He tells a story of how caring for a patient after a motorcycle accident taught him that human connection is the most important and powerful tool a nurse has to offer.Check out our website for the latest from Our VoicesThanks to our sponsor Swoosh English: for 10% off any course click hereA Fascinate Production
19/01/21·12m 34s

Season trailer: Our Voices in the NHS

Real people. Telling real stories. In this series we'll be hearing from NHS professionals who have moved to the UK.A Fascinate Productions podcast
19/01/21·1m 12s
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