We men are confused about what we're expected to be. The media tells us that we're privileged and undeserving, that we've got where we are by exploitation and that we need to be more sensitive.
But we're not sure what to do about it. As far as we can tell our grandfathers died early deaths scraping out a wage to look after their families, which is all that most of us are trying to do, (preferably without the early death).
Even a look at the figures tells you that men are underachieving and not engaging, with many completely falling apart.
Life is not a box of chocolates for anyone, men or women, and we're seeing more and more people struggling with stress problems and increasingly gambling, drink and drug addictions. Women are fairing pretty badly, but for men it's become a matter of life and death.
We started RammyMen to try and give us something better to do with our time - so we can get out from in front of the telly and do something meaningful with our lives beyond just working, sleeping and watching telly.
We're not a bunch of fruitcakes, or a cliquey in-crowd - we're just a group of men interested in getting involved, putting some spark back into our community, and having a bit of fun while we're at it.
If we get a handful of people interested in a particular activity then we get on with raising funds and doing it. Do you want to learn to fly a plane or fancy having a go at paintballing? Then let's do it! How about learning a musical instrument or even just sharing lifts to the footy? If you want to do it then we guarantee someone else will be up for it too.
There's loads of stuff coming up, and the more of us that get involved, the more we'll be able to achieve. Come on - get over to our activities page, and get joining in!
What's the Catch?
There isn't one! We set up as non-profit and are run by volunteers with the aim of helping make Ramsbottom a better place to live and work. We started up because we're tired of seeing our friends sinking into drink, depression and isolation.
What's the Long-Term Plan?
We really just want people working together, learning from each other, and looking after one another. We're also very conscious that our teenagers are being failed by society and that isolation has become more or less the norm for many of us.
If you look back at old photos of Rammy, you see hundreds of local people working together, living together, and getting involved in activities locally.
The life has been sucked out of our community by television, by us having to commute to work, and by the ridiculous cost of things. We also now have a society where decent jobs are few and far between - to make a living many of us have to sit in a cell all day answering phones on a zero-hours contract. Battery farming!
Long-term we want RammyMen to become a hub for education and innovation - getting groups of interested people together to learn from software engineers, time-served cabinet-makers or whoever we can find amongst our number. From there we can start small businesses through our own endeavour, rather than having to work in a soulless office.
We want to be able to spend time with disenfranchised kids and teenagers who've been failed by the system. We also want to work with people of all ages who just need a bit of bloody dignity injecting back into their lives.
Big aims, but even if we only achieve one tenth of it then it's something that wouldn't have happened otherwise.
So How Does it Work?
We bring people together. From amongst our numbers we find a willing co-ordinator or two for each activity people are interested in, and then we pass them the details of anyone interested in that activity. Whatapp, emails and texts help everyone get in touch, and then it's up to each of us to help make things happen.
For example, we have Dan who's interested in doing a bit of hiking around the moors ahead of a Coast to Coast walk later in the year. We've set up a Whatsapp walking group and will publicise the walks through Twitter, Facebook and our website. If you want to join him then get over to our activities page and register your interest. Once you're in there, why not organise a stroll around the valley on Sunday with some of the other members? We can sort insurance, training, and even a bag of first aid stuff, as well as sending you the details of other keen participants.
As an organisation we will raise funds and awareness to help make things happen, and we'll be tackling some of the bigger stuff such as our mens shed, archery project and help and assistance for the tougher times we all go through now and again. We also want to generate our own electricity from the river, but that's a long way off...