Some of you may know that I have recently started a branch of AndysManClub in Preston, Lancashire.

AndysManClub was started in 2016 by Luke Ambler, a well known Yorkshire Rugby Player, when his brother in law, Andy Roberts, took his own life on a Monday. Luke had been at a family get together only the week before and Luke recalls talking to Andy. Andy was talking of his future plans and made no mention of any difficulties or depression he was going through. Andy was clearly “bottling up” his anxieties and not talking about them.

I’m not sure if there is an official “Mission Statement”, but put simply it would be:

To provide a safe space for Men to talk about whatever difficulties they have or struggles they are going through. This is done in a supportive positive manner with no judgements. Clearly confidentiality is of the upmost importance.

The stories told can be emotional, but there are many positives and a few laughs along the way.

Why not Southport? With living in the village of Tarleton half way between Preston and Southport, sometimes I gravitate towards Southport and sometimes towards Preston. With there being no club in central Lancashire I thought Preston would be a more central location.

There are now 59 clubs throughout the UK and it is growing. The ambition is to have a club in every town and city in the UK, so maybe Southport soon?

Gerard Hughes

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