The Over 50s Black Men Forum (O5BM) was established in 2018 as a non-profit community and multi-themed organisation dedicated to supporting Black Men aged 50 and over. This forum plays a vital role in addressing the unique challenges faced by this demographic group, which is often marginalised and unsupported due to stereotypes such as the ‘strong black man’ or the ‘absent father’.
We recognise the unique challenges faced by older Black Men and strive to address them through education, support, and advocacy.
To create a vibrant community dedicated to enhancing the lives of Black Men aged 50 and above.
To improve the health of over 300,000 older Black Men in the UK by ensuring that nobody misses out on a quality life.
To create a thriving and engaged community for Black Men aged 50 years and over that will be responsible for reducing the negative impact of systemic Health, Economic and Social inequalities.
To disrupt the traditional and systematic approach of tackling black inequalities through the creation of strategic and support activities designed by the older Black Men community to accelerate reduction in systemic inequalities.
At O5BM, we envision a future where every black man over the age of 50 enjoys optimal physical health, mental resilience, and a strong sense of community. We aim to break down barriers, combat stereotypes, and create a space where the Over 50s Black Men community across the United Kingdom thrive.
Our strategy is innovative, ambitious and can be seen as downright ludicrous. It is a seismic change that will not be easy or straightforward. But we are convinced that a new approach to inequalities must be given a chance to work. In the words of Marissa Meyer: “How can we expect people to change if we don’t give them the chance to?”.
We have identified the following four pillars as our strategic framework by which we will tackle and reduce the identified challenges of Health, Economic and Social inequalities facing older Black Men in the UK.
What We Offer: Benefit to our O5BM Community
- Health and Wellness Programs:
- O5BM hosts regular health seminars, workshops, and webinars led by Black medical professionals. Topics include nutrition, fitness, mental health, and preventive care.
- Our physical activity initiatives, such as group walks, table tennis activities encourage active lifestyles.
- Peer Support and Connection:
- We believe in the power of community. O5BM provides a safe and supportive environment for Black Men to connect, share experiences, and build lasting friendships.
- Our online forums and local meetups foster camaraderie and combat feelings of isolation.
- Social Inclusion and Advocacy:
- O5BM advocates for policies that address the unique needs of older Black Men. We collaborate with social services providers, government agencies, and community organisations.
- Through social prescribing, we connect members with resources for mental health, housing, legal assistance, and more.
- Celebrating Black Culture and Heritage:
- Our forum celebrates Black history, culture, and achievements. We organise cultural events, storytelling sessions, and art exhibitions.
- By preserving and sharing our heritage, we strengthen our sense of identity and pride.
What We Offer: Benefit to the National Health Service (NHS)
We are acting as a key component in the execution of the aims of the NHS Integrated Care Systems (ICS) strategy. We are improving health care services by focusing on prevention, we are enabling better outcomes, and we are reducing health inequalities.
- We address Health concerns: The forum provides a platform for Black Men to identify and address health-related issues. By sharing experiences and knowledge, members can better understand health challenges they face, leading to early detection and prevention of health conditions. This proactive approach contributes to reducing the burden on NHS services.
- We reduce Isolation and Loneliness: Loneliness and social isolation can negatively impact mental and physical health. The forum fosters connections among Black Men, combating feelings of isolation. Social support networks play a vital role in overall well-being, and the forum contributes to building such networks.
- We provide Health Education and Awareness: Through activities such as health education sessions (e.g. “Our Ask the Doctors” series), the forum promotes awareness about preventive measures, healthy lifestyles, and disease management. By sharing experiences and coping strategies, this helps in tackling inequalities in outcomes, experience and access.
- We provide Peer-to-Peer Support: Members of the forum offer peer support to one another. This informal network provides emotional support, encouragement, and practical advice. Thus, helping the NHS to support broader social and economic development.
What We Offer: Benefit to Local & Borough Councils
The Over 50s Black Men Forum (O5BM) serves as a vital bridge between the community and local councils and government organisations.
- We are reducing Social Isolation:
- Local councils recognise the importance of community cohesion and appreciate the forum’s efforts in building social networks.
- We encourage Community Engagement and Empowerment:
- O5BM community engages positively with its community, and engaged citizens contribute to stronger communities and better utilisation of local resources.
- We are addressing Inequalities:
- By advocating for economic, financial, and social equity, the O5BM Forum aligns with local councils’ goals of tackling disparities in the entire community.
On page 34 of the November 2020 joint committee report by the house of commons and the house of Lords on Human Rights, titled “Black people, racism and human rights”, it states that “In the course of this inquiry, concern was expressed by witnesses that; despite the work of many excellent smaller organisations in the Black community, there is a lack of high profile, well resourced, Black-led organisations to maintain pressure for better protection of Black people’s human rights.”
With the support of The National Lottery Community Fund (TNLCF). The O5BM organisation has made its first meaningful step as a pioneering black led multi-themed organisation, making sustainable and long-lasting change to our community across London, the Southeast and East of England
O5BM Forum was formed as a constituted non-profit community in 2018 and became a registered Community Interest Company (CIC) in December 2021.
- Company Registration Number: 13808049
- Number of Director: 3
- Core Staff: 5
- Volunteers: 17
- Core Funding: The National Lottery Community Fund
- Project Funding: Project-by-project basis