By Andy Hirst, Special Correspondent

A charity set up to help prevent men from taking their own lives has won the The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Andy’s Man Club was formed after the tragic death of a young dad in Halifax and the first ones were set up in Halifax and Huddersfield although there are now almost 50 nationwide with hundreds of men meeting to talk about their mental health problems every Monday at 7pm.

They are run by a network of more than 250 volunteers and many of them first went to the clubs seeking support and help.

The charity is called Andy’s Man Club after 23-year-old Andy Roberts from Halifax, a doting father, suddenly took his own life one Monday night in April 2016. His family was left totally distraught as there were no signs at all that Andy was having suicidal thoughts. They later discovered that a man takes his life in the UK every two hours and it’s often said a factor is that men simply don’t talk about the mental health struggles they are going through.

Andy’s Man Club (AMC) was set up by Andy’s mum, Elaine, and his brother-in-law, former professional rugby league player Luke Ambler. The aim was to get men talking, hence its motto which is It’s Okay To Talk.

READ MORE: It’s OK to talk and here’s where you can find help

Luke said: “We are delighted our volunteers have received national recognition for the fantastic work they do on a daily basis in order to combat male suicide and the stigma surrounding men’s mental health.

“When myself and Elaine started Andy’s Man Club back in 2016, all we wanted to do was stop one family from going through what we did when Andy passed away.

“On our first night in June 2016 we had nine men walk through our door in Halifax. Fast forward exactly five years and on our most recent Monday night we had 726 men attending nationwide. We want to keep helping men and this award only motivates us further to keep going from strength-to-strength and helping that one man in his hour of need.”

The Monday evening venues in Huddersfield are at the Cedar Court Hotel at Ainley Top and at the Global Diversity coffee shop at 9 Ramsden Street opposite Huddersfield Town Hall in Huddersfield town centre.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee and recipients are announced each year on June 2, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.

Nationwide, 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups are receiving the prestigious award this year.

For more information about Andy’s Man Club and to find your nearest club go to the charity’s website or email

* Written by former Huddersfield Examiner Head of Content ANDY HIRST who now runs his own Huddersfield-based agency AH! PR specialising in press releases, blogging and copywriting for business in Yorkshire and across the UK.