It was great to be at the launch of the Tenovus ManVan at Cyfarthfa Castle in Merthyr Tydfil last Tuesday evening. Tenovus, in conjunction with Prostate and Men’s health charity Movember, have brought the UK’s first ManVan to the roads of Wales. The ManVan, a converted 38ft American-style motorhome, will travel to Welsh communities across the country to support men living with, and affected by, prostate and testicular cancer.
Dr Rachel Iredale (Director of Cancer Support, Tenovus; Reader, Life Sciences and Education, University of South Wales) at the ManVan launch
It will bring one to one counselling, couples’ counselling, group support and welfare rights advice to men who live in deprived or hard-to-reach areas. The ManVan will offer 80 counselling and 80 welfare advice sessions every month and visit a new community every day, bringing vital services to where they’re needed most.
The launch event included talks from Claudia McVie, Tenovus Chief Executive, Heather Blake, Director of Services at Prostate Cancer UK, and from Tony, a gentleman affected by prostate cancer, who spoke of the importance of the ManVan in supporting men in Wales. Following wonderful performances by the Merthyr Tydfil Tenovus Sing With Us choir, making their debut at the event, and Only Men Aloud, attendees were given tours of the ManVan.
Tenovus staff give tours of the ManVan at its launch
The ManVan has two separate spaces; one for group counselling sessions and another for one to one counselling, is fully wheelchair accessible, and has a kitchen and toilet on board. It has been transformed on the inside into a space specifically designed with men in mind. No flowers, throws or fluffy cushions on board – just sleek, clean lines, comfy chairs, men’s magazines and a nice big TV of course! This is the main area where group counselling sessions and online health checks take place.
Some famous faces helping to celebrate the launch of the ManVan
Good luck to this exciting project and to the ManVan as it begins it’s travels throughout Wales!