The Andy’s Man Club programme is being celebrated at Preston North End’s home fixture against Huddersfield Town.
Andy’s Man Club is a men’s mental health programme that was founded in 2016, and like our opponents on the pitch, originates from West Yorkshire.
Following the tragic suicide of 23-year-old Andy Roberts, now almost six years ago, the first Andy’s Man Club group was set-up in Halifax to provide a safe space for men to talk about their mental health.
The Halifax group is now just one of 72 Andy’s Man Club groups in the UK that runs every Monday night from 7pm until 9pm, completely free of charge.
The Preston club first began at Penwortham Cricket Club in November 2020, before moving to Deepdale in the Preston North End Community and Education Trust office, in the Alan Kelly Town End, in May 2021.
A light is being shone on the men’s mental health programme for Huddersfield Town’s visit, with players wearing specialised warm-up t-shirts, themed graphics being present around the stadium, and guests of the charity being in attendance for the game.
The Trust has provided 15 tickets to participants through its community ticket allocation, and an additional four tickets have been donated by PC Paul Elliott for the use of Andy’s Man Club participants through the Lancashire Police and PNECET season card partnership.
Anonymous feedback from the group is overwhelmingly positive. 100 per cent of respondents agreed that attending the session at Preston North End has supported their mental health and allowed them to talk about their mental health.
One attendee said: “Meeting at Preston North End has the benefit of being a landmark location, which is easy to find, and the staff are extremely supportive of Andy’s Man Club.
“The club has a very positive atmosphere, it is welcoming, and specific attention is given to anyone new to ensure they understand the session rules and format.”
Another attendee described the atmosphere as ‘very friendly and welcoming’, said the facilitators – who lead and direct the discussion within the sessions – are ‘very organised in a calm manner’ and was also pleased the group has been recognised by Preston North End.
A total of 88 new participants attended the Preston group throughout 2021, with an average of 18 men attending every week.
Held every Monday night from 7pm until 9pm, in the community office at Deepdale, the group is open to any man over the age of 18 without the need for any prior registration or to provide any personal details. Refreshments are also provided.