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Andy’s Man Club at Castleford Tigers

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As part of the Tigers Foundation’s plans to support our local community and challenge the stigma surrounding mental health, on Monday 15th November 2021, the first Andy’s Man Club session at Wheldon Road was held.

In the UK the biggest killer of men under the age of 50 is suicide, and one man sadly takes his own life every two hours. A leading cause to such scary statistics is the perception that men do not discuss their own personal issues, which is an area Andy’s Man Club target with their philosophy: “It’s okay to talk”.

Welfare Manager at Castleford Tigers, Keith Lambeth is thrilled that Andy’s Man Club offers a non-judgmental environment for men in the Castleford area to express their thoughts or concerns.

“We really welcome Andy’s Man Club to Castleford because people often get problems and bottle them up, and don’t know where to go for help,” Lambeth told castlefordtigers.com.

“Andy’s Man Club is a way of helping people to start expressing their feelings and their thoughts so that it doesn’t progress into a more serious problem.

“The more people talk about things, the better they will feel. Some issues can be really difficult, then they can be pointed in the right direction.”

“Often men feel ashamed to talk about issues, they may feel like it’s a weakness but is not. It is a natural thing to deal with mental health, to be able to talk. At the present time, it is fairly difficult for people to get into mental health services and it’s a good community strategy.”

Castleford Tigers Foundation’s Community Director Simon Fox discusses the partnership with Andy’s Man Club as being the first part of the Foundation’s support of the local community’s mental health provision.

“Every Monday, 7-9pm down at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle we are hosting Andy’s Man Club, people from right across the area can come down and have a non-judgmental chat with people who have the same considerations,” commented Fox.

“This move into mental health with Andy’s Man Club will come on the back of some of the work we’ll be announcing fairly shortly amongst the likes of dementia cafes as well. This is a key time for us and a key time for the area to have some support and a place to go.

“This is really important for us because there is not only a demand and a need for it, but it is a space we have wanted to move into for quite some time now. The last 18 months have told us the times are getting tougher, which means we have an obligation and a desire to support people who have got challenges.”

“It is an environment that allows people to have a discussion and talk about not just the challenges in life but the positives, this is not just about relaying the negatives of your life – actually the start point for this is, ‘What are the good things? What do you look forward to? What are the good memories you’ve got?’ and giving people a platform to move forward from with some positive memories and some positive thoughts.

“Men historically, particularly in Castleford, are perceived as being really tough characters – that they are – but that does not mean they are not frail in some regards as well. I think it’s really important we get that balance of being tough characters and robust people, but getting it right where, actually, sometimes things don’t look quite right, and you need somebody to offload and share experiences. Equally, we can support them in saying we fully understand, and we are right there with you.”

Andy’s Man Club holds their sessions at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle every Monday from 7pm, please email info@andysmanclub.co.uk if you would like to attend or have any further enquiries.

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