New club will give men the chance to talk and promote wellbeing
- Credit: ANDY MAN'S CLUB
A new club aimed at supporting men and encouraging them to open up is being launched in Huntingdon next month.
The initiative is part of the national Andy’s Man Club organisation, which was rapidly growing in popularity before the coronavirus lockdowns.
Gary Clarke, has been running the Peterborough branch for the last three years and wanted something for men in this area.
The club is a charity which offers support to men aged over 18 - who are notoriously poor at sharing their concerns - struggling with mental health issues.
Gary, 52, said: “I have lived in Huntingdon for two years and I know there is a massive need around here for something like this. Men generally feel they have nowhere to go to talk about the problems which are affecting them, but women will talk to other women when they get together.”
Gary said he realised the importance of the Andy’s Man Club movement while he was working for the prison service and met the founder who set the group up following the death of a relative who took their own life in 2016.
He said he had suffered mental health problems of his own and, although he had a supportive family, could see the need to be able to talk through problems.
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“Finding out about Andy’s Man Club was the best thing that could happen to me,” Gary said. “I have been involved with the Peterborough meeting for three years and I have made friends for life.”
He said the club had grown rapidly since it started in Halifax and was now up to 40 branches, with Huntingdon probably being the 45th when it opens - but there were still large areas in the region which did not have their own meeting.
Gary said the Huntingdon branch would open on April 12, even though coronavirus lockdown regulations may have an impact on the form meetings take at first.
Meetings will take place at the community room at Stukeley Meadows Primary School on Monday nights from 7-9pm and members would have the chance to discuss five questions, three of which are always asked: how their week has been, positive things which have taken place and a chance to get problems off their chest, followed by two random questions.
Further information is available from firstname.lastname@example.org and a Facebook page.