Hello, my name is Paul Jukes (crew name: JUKEBOX), and I am the Manager & Choreographer of an amateur, male-only, over 40’s dance crew from Brighton, UK. We’re called the Outta Puff Daddys and use our profile to encourage change in society’s approach to mental health – particularly among men.
I am asking for your financial support through kind donations enabling me to continue the mental health awareness work that I have tirelessly committed myself to for the past 2.5 years voluntarily – helping me reach more people and change more lives for the better.
|DAYS TO GO
Here is a summary of my story and how your generous donations will be used…
Initially founded in 2012 by local dance teacher JP Omari, we first got together after taking our children to street dance classes. We rehearsed secretly to perform at their annual dance showcase and were hugely successful, so we vowed to continue dancing.
The sudden impact of a founding member passing away (during our early rehearsals) drew us closer together. It was the first trigger to me how vital this unique male social network was for our mental well-being.
It is shocking to consider that in the UK, the biggest killer of men under 45 is suicide. This is not only profoundly tragic, but it is also largely preventable.
In 2017 I suffered my own period of depression and having a strong male social bond with whom I could share my vulnerabilities and emotions was integral to my recovery.
Following my own experience, I became deeply passionate about doing all I could to encourage change in society’s approach/acceptance of mental health.
In Spring 2020, as one of the original founding members, I took over the leadership and choreography role. Even though it was a daunting prospect and with no previous dance teaching experience, I embraced the opportunity and recognised our vast potential to promote mental health awareness.
At this point, through my guidance and shared creativity, our social media content began to amass thousands of followers and millions of views. Our profile and mental health awareness message is now truly being heard and supported worldwide.
As a group of men, our camaraderie and friendship goes far beyond just dancing. We have supported each other through various personal tragedies and challenges. Our close bond provides a safe space to share our vulnerabilities, emotions and discuss our mental well-being.
We break through all stereotypes surrounding traditional masculinity, encouraging others to talk openly about their mental health. We actively promote the importance of talking freely about personal problems or challenges, to seek and ask for help when needed and for others to listen without judgement. Another huge element of our messaging is promoting the importance of self-care and social connectivity with other like-minded positive people.
Our story and message has since been featured globally on various broadcasts, including the BBC, ITV, NBC, Channel10, radio, podcasts and printed features.
I receive regular heartwarming messages from our followers detailing the positive impact we have made to their lives. They actively use the strategies I share along with our fun, uplifting routines as part of their ongoing daily mental well-being.
Now reaching millions worldwide, our content highlights the positive change that we can all make to other people’s lives. It is incredible to know that we are making a real difference but there is much more work to be done.
I am passionate about reaching even more people with our message to encourage positive change and remove mental health stigma. Outside of social media, I offer motivational talks at colleges, workplaces and events, providing insights into my own mental health experiences and strategies. Finally, as a crew we love to perform live, which provides a fantastic opportunity to promote our underlying message in a highly unique and engaging way.
My wider aspirations include many ideas that will allow others worldwide to benefit from the same social support we have come to appreciate – providing vital mental well-being. This includes the development of similar groups (for men and women) around the country/world, which is something I am regularly asked to develop.
As you can imagine, managing the crew and developing all the various performance, talks, PR, media and messaging opportunities is practically a full-time job which I currently have little/no funding – all of my time is provided voluntarily. I was struggling to find the time around my main employment. So in July of this year, I made the decision to dramatically reduce my professional working hours so that I could dedicate more time to the Outta Puff Daddys and the circulation of our important message – to connect with and support many more lives. This is where I am now asking for your help.
To empower others and make the impact that is truly needed, I am asking for your financial support through kind donations. This will enable me to dedicate more time to this valuable work and a message that I am so passionate about, helping me reach more people globally and change more lives for the better.
- to support my work, reaching more people with my mental health mission – to break the stigma, encourage change and transform lives for the better.
- to further develop my leadership, choreography and presentation skills.
- to empower and mentor new OPD Community groups/crews (globally) where others worldwide can benefit from the same social support we have come to appreciate – providing vital mental well-being. This is something I am often asked to develop.
- to visit more schools and workplaces with my unique, powerful, uplifting, motivational talks. Currently, I have to charge for these to cover my costs. However, I would like to offer these talks free of charge to those that cannot afford to pay.
- to perform with my crew at more events where our performances always make people stop, smile and think about their own approach to mental well-being. Currently, we often cover our own performance expenses.
- to further grow our social media with new, engaging, relevant content and messaging – reaching even more people globally.
- to expand my PR and media opportunities, enabling me to reach more people.
- to create live streams on our social media, allowing all those who have contributed to this fund to get involved, learn our routines and benefit from the joys of dancing.
- to launch a new ‘in conversation with’ podcast – with a focus on engaging life stories, personal experiences and enlightening mental health strategies from a variety of inspiring and influential guests.
- to provide my current weekly dance classes free of charge to the incredible crew members (who I call Brothers) that have supported me massively since I took the lead. I know the Outta Puff Daddys is vital to their ongoing mental health, self-care and well-being.
- to develop other ideas I have, which for reasons I hope you will understand, are confidential, but I can assure you are for the better good of my mission.
- to track and monitor the success of my work, providing valuable insights and learnings. It is important that I ensure my work is reaching those that need it, and genuinely impacting lives for the better.
Much of the above, I am currently unable to provide. However, your kind donations will allow me to fully embrace the opportunities, reach more people and truly create positve change.
I will provide regular feedback and updates to all donors ensuring they are fully aware of the impact they are making.
I know the cost of living is a burden to us all at the moment, and I fully respect you might not be in a financial position to donate large sums of funding. Even a small donation will be massively appreciated and make a huge difference. If your amazing donation helps me reach and change the mindset of just one person, then all of this will have been worth it.
20 November 2023by Paul Jukes, Organiser
It has been a while since I updated you…I apologise for that, I’ve been very busy.
In recent months your kind donations have enabled me to continue pursuing an array of motivational talks, content creation, liaison with OPD Community enquiries, performance plans / negotiations and a much bigger project that I one day hope to share with you – for now it remains confidential!! Ooohhhhh!
Here is a recent Testimonial from one of my talks to a large corporate firm:
As part of our communications in acknowledgement and support of International Mens Day, we invited Paul, the Leader and Director from Outta Puff Daddys to run a webinar for employees. The focus was to share his passion and spread his message about the importance of breaking the stigma and supporting men (and all individuals) around mental health and wellbeing. It was fantastic, joyous, authentic and heartfelt. We had some wonderful feedback from employees. Here are are few:
Very moving, powerful and inspiring talk. Thank you Paul.
Thank you for sharing your stories and personal journey. I found it very relatable but very uplifting – Thank you
Thank you so much for being you Paul – your mindset and crew are amazing.
We will certainly be following the Outta Puff Daddys and their journey to bring joy and spread their messages around mental health and hope we can work together again in the future. A big thank you
Occupational Health Advisor
BASF plc, United Kingdom
I send a HUGE THANK YOU to anyone that can donate, whatever the amount – you truly are supporting a worthwhile cause.
Together we can help improve the lives of many…we are all STRONGER TOGETHER.
Crowdfunding Campaigner Magazine has selected this project as part of the general selection process and has not been requested or paid commission to promote this project. The project is considered as relevant in this market and suggesting the project is worth backing due to its viability and potential for success.