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Time: 10. 30am 00pm Venue: Institute of Public Health in Ireland, Forestview, Purdy's Lane, Belfast Present

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Men's Health Forum in Ireland:

Minutes of Board of Trustees Meeting

Date: Monday 5th February 2007

Time: 10.30am - 2.00pm

Venue: Institute of Public Health in Ireland, Forestview, Purdy's Lane, Belfast

Present: Paula Carroll, Colin Fowler, Alan George, Gerry McElwee,

Owen Metcalfe, Finian Murray, Christine Thomas, Trisha Willoughby

Apologies: Fergal Fox, Sé Franklin, Majella McEntegart, Noel Richardson,

Mary Sheehan

Chairperson: Paula Carroll

Minutes: Colin Fowler


The Chairperson (Paula) welcomed everyone to the meeting - especially Trisha Willoughby who is interested in becoming a Trustee of the Men's Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI). A brief round of introductions followed.

Matters arising from last Minutes:

  • Colin contacted Barry McGale to ascertain if he wishes to continue as an MHFI Trustee. Due to work commitments related to the Suicide Strategy, Barry feels that he is unable to offer the necessary level of input and, so, has formally resigned from the Board. Colin has forwarded his resignation form to Companies House and removed his details from the MHFI Yahoo Email Group.

  • Noel was to check on Mary's circumstances (re. Trustee status), but neither he nor Mary were present at this meeting to provide feedback.

  • Recently, there have been a number of occasions when official returns to the Companies Registry and Inland Revenue have been delayed. It was suggested that we should have a standing item on the agenda of each meeting to report on our finances and any official correspondence required/pending - especially the Annual Shuttle Return.

HSE Money:

It was noted that we are still owed 5,000 Euros from the Health Service Executive (HSE) for last year's Men's Health Week. Finian will follow this up with Sé. We need to bank this money urgently.

MHFI Worker:

Paula will contact Fergal to ask him to follow-up the reply from Mary Harney's office about the secondment of a HSE worker to MHFI. It is crucial to find out quickly what progress has been made with this secondment and/or if any alternative (such as a lump sum payment for us to employ someone ourselves) is available.
Working with Pharma Companies:

Owen distributed copies of the paper that Fergal had collated for MHFI on guidelines for working with pharmaceutical companies. It was agreed that all Trustees should read this carefully and respond with comments by Friday 23rd February 2007.

Protocol and Guidance for Becoming a MHFI Trustee:

It was agreed that we should ...

  • adopt the Application Form for becoming an MHFI Trustee (designed by Owen and re-drafted by Colin). Colin will amend this form to include a section on "Any Other Directorships";

  • use the Trustee Guidance Notes prepared by Owen;

  • give all potential Trustees a copy of MHFI's Memorandum and Articles of Association;

  • advise all future Trustees to read NICVA's guidance notes on a Charity Trustee's Duties;

  • remember that our Memorandum and Articles of Association demand that we should always highlight any conflict between our Trustee status and external interests at the earliest opportunity.

The issuing and receipt of these forms and guidelines should be the responsibility of the Company Secretary.

Chambré Public Affairs:

Terry McErlane's offer of free media/political monitoring for MHFI until March 2007 may now not be available since it was not followed-up. However, it was agreed that Gerry (and Ulster Cancer Foundation) would see if Chambré would be prepared to monitor men and cancer services - which would be of use to UCF while, still, connecting to the original offer of a male-focused monitoring service.

Men's Health Week (MHW) 2007:

Finian, Majella and Sé met on Tuesday 16th January 2007 to brainstorm on ideas for this year's Men's Health Week. The outcomes of their deliberations were circulated and discussed. The following was agreed ...

  • Christine and Alan will join this Planning Group.

  • The next meeting of the Planning Group will be on Friday 2nd March at 10.30am. It will be hosted by Majella in either Silverbridge or Mullaghbawn.

  • This group will plan a full day event in Belfast.

  • The proposed date for the event is Tuesday 12th June 2007 - if this does not clash with MHF England's conference.

  • Our target number of participants is 100.

  • We will work within the general theme of: "Men living with chronic disease and long-term illness".

  • We could adopt a strapline such as: "Your health is your wealth - how to invest in the future". (Alan's idea) i.e. move away from being a helpless victim and focus upon strengths and opportunities.

  • Everyone is asked to contribute their contacts and ideas to the planning process.

The programme could look like:

Approx Time




Arrival, registration, refreshments

All Trustees


Welcome and Introduction

MHFI Trustee


Overview / Statistics

Declan Bedford (Public Health Specialist North East area)


The lived experience of men who are coping with a chronic illness and/or a carer's experience

At least one man who is in this position


Break and refreshments


Sociological and/or psychological perspectives on men and health

Alan White (Professor of Men's Health, University of Leeds)


Sociological and/or psychological perspectives on men and health

Jean Von Homme (International Journal of Men's Health and Gender)


Panel: Question and Answer session

Chaired by MHFI Trustee


Lunch (hot food)


Effective practice on the ground

Statutory service:

Dr Colum Farrelly (GP)


Effective practice on the ground

Voluntary service provider


Parallel workshops on lifestyle changes (e.g. diet, exercise, alcohol, smoking, stress) to help manage chronic conditions

Specialist workshop leaders


Comfort Break



High Profile Speaker


Summary and close

MHFI Trustee



Other potential contributors might include:

  • Claire Moynihan - Medical Sociologist

  • Irish Heart Foundation Project in Leitrim

  • Padraig O'Morain - Irish Times (Health)

  • Murais Houston

  • Joe Armstrong - author on men's health / journalist

  • Des Bishop - comedian

  • Ray D'Arcy - broadcaster

  • Christy Moore - musician

  • Edward Gough

  • Majella's project

  • Construction Workers' Health Trust

It was agreed that MHFI needs to have someone who can coordinate and implement the key tasks relating to this piece of work. Alan George was invited to submit a proposal and budget outline for employing him as a consultant to lead this initiative. Alan will send his proposal to Colin, who will then remove Alan’s details from the MHFI Yahoo Email Group. When this is done, Colin will forward the document to others on the Board, and there will be two days allowed to reach an online decision. Since Alan will not be party to these discussions, members are encouraged to have an honest and open discussion about the proposal. After a decision has been reached, Colin will re-instate Alan to the Yahoo Group.

Future Areas of Work:

  • In line with agreements made at the pre-Christmas planning session, Colin will change the MHFI website Mission Statement to the new one.

  • Alan has emailed a copy of his SMARTER Goals paper and the PowerPoint presentation that he used in Dublin to all Trustees.

  • Paula agreed to draft a short MHFI Position Paper - as proposed in the December 2006 meeting.

  • All Trustees felt that they are too busy with their own work at the moment to dedicate any more time to a detailed strategic planning process or the development of a comprehensive fundraising plan.

  • Alan was invited to submit a proposal and budget outline for a piece of work to generate financial resources for MHFI. This will be discussed in the same way as his proposal to coordinate our MHW initiative.

  • Everyone agreed that we should commit to meeting immediately after this year’s MHW event to begin the planning process for the incoming year and to establish a working group to generate ideas for ways to move forward.

  • Strategic planning, and the development of a work plan, should be the main priority of the agenda for the next Trustees’ meeting.

Next Meeting:

The next meeting of the Board will take place on Wednesday 21st March 2007 in the offices of the Institute of Public Health in Ireland, Dublin. This meeting will begin at 10.30am. Owen will Chair the meeting and Finian will take the minutes. Colin tendered his apologies for this meeting - as he is running a training day for his Kick Start Father Worker programme.

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