Penwortham Cricket Club is hosting an Andy’s Man Club festival on Sunday 29th August from 12 noon until 11pm.
Andy’s Man Club is a registered charity that was founded in 2016 after the tragic suicide of 23-year-old Andy Roberts. A weekly group in Halifax was formed thereafter, allowing men to come together to discuss their mental health in an open and welcoming environment.
There are now 59 weekly Andy's Man Club groups across the UK that meet every Monday.
The Preston group was founded in November last year, first running at Penwortham Cricket Club, before the venue was switched to Deepdale in May.
Andy’s Man Club is for all men over the age of 18, with groups running from 7pm until 9pm on Mondays at every location.
Preston group facilitator and North End fan, Chris Pope, has been involved with Andy’s Man Club in Preston since its inception last November, and is now behind the efforts to raise funds and awareness for the charity with the upcoming festival.
The festival’s activities include a Lancashire vs Yorkshire cricket match – with Andy’s Man Club participants, Chris included, set to play – a nine-piece soul band and a 20-piece Caribbean dance troop, as well as a bouncy castle and face painting for children, plus plenty more.
There are signed items donated by Preston North End – including an Andy’s Man Club t-shirt, PNE football and PNE pennant – up for grabs through a raffle, tombola and silent auction.
All proceeds from paid activities inside the festival supporting Andy’s Man Club. Entry is free with a suggested donation upon arrival.
Chris hopes the festival can continue to raise vital awareness of men’s mental health, and the support offer Andy’s Man Club provides.
“We want men to have a place to go to talk about any issues they have; freely, confidentially and comfortably. It’s awareness for the charity generally, but also awareness for the Preston group and Lancashire as a whole.
“Something like this where someone might be brought by a friend, family member or partner, on the day, there might be a few conversations that might make people think differently and realise that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“It’s awareness of men’s mental health in general – if it makes one person reconsider taking their own life, then it’s been worthwhile.
On the club being held at Deepdale, he added: “It’s been a game changer getting to North End. Our network of participants was about 20 to 25 people when we were at Penwortham; now it’s up to about 50
“It’s got the support of North End and whenever you tell someone where it is, they know immediately.”
The Preston Andy’s Man Club group runs from 7pm until 9pm in the community offices at Deepdale, with all men over the age of 18 welcome to attend, without the need for prior registration or to pass on any personal details.