About the Programme

Safe Ground recognises that cultural norms around masculinity exacerbate harmful behaviours associated with status, ‘identity’, and anti-social activity. In response, we developed Man Up – a programme thoughtfully designed to support groups of young and adult men in various settings to consider the values, attitudes and thinking so often informed by those cultural norms and the associated pressures and expectations of being a ‘man’.

The programme explores the following central questions:

– What is a man?

– What are the influences on being a man?

– What are men’s needs?

Over three days, our arts-based methodology creates space for participants to nurture new perspectives and undertake a reflective and practical shift in focus. They consider long term aims, pro-social relationships and leisure interests, further education, and community engagement, free from the limitations of peer pressure. 

Man Up has been delivered in various secure and community settings, including the adult male prison estate, YOIs, STCs, SEMH schools, children’s homes and youth clubs.

Programme Structure

Length: 3 days

Duration: 6 sessions, each lasting 2.5 hours

Frequency: Delivered on a full-time or part-time basis

Group Size: 8 – 12 participants (14-18 year olds) or 10-16 participants (18 year olds or over)

Staff: 2 x Programme Facilitator

Delivery Mode: Quality assurance (train the trainer), co-delivery, and direct delivery models are available

Key Elements

  • Two skilled facilitators
  • A male-only group
  • Therapeutic group space
  • An accompanying Man Up journal for all participants
  • A presentation to an invited audience at the end of the programme
  • Alumni network available to participants who complete the programme

Impact and Evidence

Man Up was evaluated in the double-blind peer-reviewed Journal of Criminal Psychology (Blagden and Perrin, 2017). They found a significant pre/post programme reduction in ‘toughness’ and increases in self-esteem and risk-taking perceptions, as well as participants’ positive reconstruction of what it is to be a ‘man’.

View Man Up most recent impact reports:

Youth Offending Teams Settings – Final Report

Prisons Settings – Interim Report 


“I believe Man Up has been the best course I’ve done. It’s helped me build my confidence and show my emotions more” Participant at HMP Wandsworth.

“Honestly, this course has helped me in ways words can’t even describe”, Participant at YOI Wetherby.

“I would strongly advise any man to embark on this journey”, Participant at HMP Berwyn.

Find Out More

Get in touch by email to speak to a member of our team safe.ground@socialinterestgroup.org.uk