As part of Mental Health Awareness Week and with the one-year anniversary looming of Andy’s Man Club’s Preston branch moving to Deepdale, we have been looking back at the success of the men’s mental health programme over the past year.
Andy’s Man Club is a men’s mental health charity that was founded in 2016, following the tragic passing of 23-year-old Andy Roberts.
Thereafter and in his memory, Andy’s family and friends established a weekly men’s talking group in Halifax. Having formed and grown as a charity along the way, Andy’s Man Club now has more than 70 groups running every week across the United Kingdom to support men with their mental health.
All men over the age of 18 are invited to take part in Andy’s Man Club sessions, which run from 7pm until 9pm at all of its locations across the United Kingdom, which has included Preston since November 2019.
The group initially began meeting at Penwortham Cricket Club before a switch to Deepdale last May, to coincide with last year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, allowing for expansion within the group.
The development has continued at Deepdale with there now being three rooms available for use for groups of men to talk and open up to one another about their mental health, with discussions hosted in the Preston North End Community and Education Trust [PNECET] offices at Deepdale.
PNECET staff support the session, while complimentary refreshments are provided for all those in attendance each week.
Andy’s Man Club Project Development Officer Andrew Greenway reflected on the now year-long partnership with PNECET as being one of great success.
He said: “Preston was the first club within the north west and we’ve now got clubs shooting up in and around areas like Blackburn, Burnley and Bury that have come off the back of the work that we’ve done with Preston North End Community and Education Trust.
“The fact that those venues are now set up within the community departments of football clubs just shows the amount of football clubs that are now sitting up and taking notice. PNE were trailblazers within that.”
It has not only been the provision of office space that Andy’s Man Club have benefitted from at PNECET, but support with matchday activities and more, too.
Andy’s Man Club have been present in the fan zone during the 2021/22 season to distribute information about the session, while a themed matchday took hold over Deepdale for Huddersfield Town’s visit in February, when players warmed up in Andy’s Man Club t-shirts.
PNECET also donated prizes to an Andy’s Man Club Festival at Penwortham Cricket Club last summer, which was organised and delivered by Andy’s Man Club Preston facilitator and North End fan Chris Pope.
Andrew continued: “It’s been amazing to see the support that Preston North End not only give us on a Monday evening, but beyond that.
“We’ve had situations where we’ve been in the fan zone, we’ve had opportunities to get together with the players wearing the Andy’s Man Club t-shirts. It’s not just been a case of, ‘Here’s your room, off you go,’ it’s been an actual partnership and actual working relationship, which has been fantastic.
“It really goes to show how in support of Andy’s Man Club and men’s mental health Preston North End Community and Education Trust really are.”
For more information about Andy’s Man Club, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. All those wishing to attend on a Monday evening at Deepdale can do so without any need to provide personal information with no sign-up required.