Holmfirth is to have a second mental health group for men just a month after the first one was set up in the town.
Andy’s Man Club, which was established in Halifax in 2016 and now has groups nationwide, is to meet weekly in Holmfirth starting on Monday, June 5 and will then meet every month.
A monthly club called Holmfirth Man’s Club has just been set up by former cricketer and builder Ritchie Howarth who has battled crippling mental illness in recent years and that meets on the first Tuesday of every month.
The two clubs mean men will have more options to meet up and to talk to others about the mental health challenges they’re facing.
Andy’s Man Club will be run by Stuart Garlick and Mark Antrobus who both live in the Holme Valley and have been Andy’s Man Club members in Huddersfield. The Huddersfield group meets every Monday at 7pm at the Cedar Court Hotel, Ainley Top.
Andy’s Man Club now has 120 groups throughout the UK from Aberdeen to Devon with a further 10 due to open soon.
Spokesman Neil Waine said: “Opening one in Holmfirth means it’s more local for those men living in the Holme Valley and between ourselves and Holmfirth Man’s Club it will give people more options. The more help and support men can access, the better.”
Andy’s Man Club in Holmfirth will meet at Underbank Rangers Rugby League Club in Holmfirth, HD9 2RR every Monday from 7pm (except bank holidays). The first meeting will be on Monday, June 5.
Neil said: “Men just need to turn up. There are no bookings, referrals or charges. It’s a non-judgemental place where men can talk confidentially and get stuff off their chests. It’s great Holmfirth now has two clubs whereas a month ago it had none. The more support there is out there the better and the sad reality is that it’s needed.”
Andy’s Man Club was set up after 23-year-old Andy Roberts from Halifax suddenly took his own life one Monday night in April 2016 which is why the clubs now meet on Monday evenings nationwide.
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’re going through.
Andy’s Man Club 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.
Andy Roberts (left and right) with brother-in-law Luke Ambler.
Luke said: “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 and now hundreds of men attend nationwide every Monday. We want to keep helping men, continue going from strength-to-strength and helping that one man in his hour of need.”
Andy’s Man Club in Holmfirth has its own Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100092477078187 where facilitator Stuart Garlick has posted a video.
The main Andy’s Man Club website is https://andysmanclub.co.uk/
The next Holmfirth Man’s Club meeting will be on Tuesday, June 6 at 7pm – Ritchie’s 56th birthday. It meets on the first Tuesday of every month from 7pm to 9pm at Ribbles Café on Hollowgate in the centre of Holmfirth. Men are encouraged to just turn up on the night.
Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.