Every year, our group of companies Forward & Thinking, Simplytrak and Wold Outdoor, known as SAAS Global, come together and choose a charity to support with fundraising and activities for twelve months. This year, after a team vote, we decided to support Andy’s Man Club.
Andy’s Man Club was founded after Andrew Roberts sadly took his own life aged 23 in early 2016. After looking deeper into into male suicide and men’s mental health, his mum Elaine Roberts and brother in law Luke Ambler discovered that male suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50, and founded the charity in Andrew’s name.
Their aim is to reduce the stigma surrounding men’s mental health and create an environment where they can get together and discuss their mental health without fear of judgement. The groups are volunteer-led, with the vast majority of group facilitators having first interacted with Andy’s Man Club when they came through the door as a service user. Six years later, the club now has almost 100 clubs across the UK!
“I voted for Andy’s Man Club because I think it’s so important to break the stigma surrounding men’s mental health and encourage men to talk openly about their feelings”, says Patrick Hewitt, Business Development Manager, Simplytrak.
Paul Longley from Andy’s Man Club in Hull joined us in our office for an insightful talk about the incredible work that the charity does. Paul spoke about his own experience with the charity, discussing how attending the club helped him with his own personal struggles.
“Listening to Paul’s own experience and how Andy’s Man Club supported him, really shows how important it is for initiatives like this to exist,” says Georgia Hall, Designer, SAAS Global.
“Paul’s talk was great, it was interesting to hear about how the club was formed. I will definitely be spreading the word about Andy’s Man Club and the amazing work they do to save lives every day. I’m really happy we voted for them to be our chosen charity of the year,” Chloe Cordell, Media Assistant, Forward & Thinking.
Paul Longley spoke about how the money donated to the charity is used:
“All the money raised for Andy’s Man Club goes towards opening new clubs in different towns and cities, meaning every donation helps to save a life. Supporting us is not just about raising money, spreading awareness is the most important. Awareness of our clubs shows anybody out there struggling that there is somebody to help.”
Paul spoke about the club’s initial six questions that they ask the group at the beginning of a session:
The first four questions are always the same and questions five and six are always different. For the last two questions, the club like to focus on something positive, such as, “What positive thing are you going to do for someone else or for yourself this week?”. This approach ensures that group members feel positive about their time at the club, and gives them something to look forward to.
Along with the in-person clubs, Andy’s Man Club also offers online support. This is to ensure that anybody struggling with their mental health has access to help, not only those who are able to attend a club.
To learn more about the amazing charity, or to join one of their groups visit https://andysmanclub.co.uk/
We’ve got lots of fundraising activities planned for this year, keep up to date on our social media pages to see what we’re getting up to!