Preston food bank founder Chris to start holding 'brew and chat' mental health sessions for men

Preston man Chris Murray, founder of the Here for Humanity food bank, has announced he is hoping to start hosting sessions for local men to come together and talk in aid of mental health.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 12:20 pm

The charitable man, who has been open about his struggles with mental health and troubled past in prison, will be using the meeting space above the Preston food bank each week.

He hopes to encourage local men to meet up and bond with one another in a bid to tackle the stigma around male mental health struggles.

Chris first started cooking meals for vulnerable neighbours who were shielding at the start of lockdown and has since worked with volunteers to develop a food bank delivering food bags to hundreds of families locally each week.

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Chris Murray hopes to chat with like minded males from this weekend

And its permanent home, at a large unit on Eldon Street, is used for volunteers to separate food donations before they are given out to families in need.

A large space above the food bank is now going to be used as a community space, and Chris hopes to host weekly chats for local men to come together and talk about their mental health struggles.

In a public post, Chris shared that he had been struggling with his mental health and wanted to do something to help, with suicide being the biggest killer in young adult males under 45.

Chris said: "I have been feeling down recently and I myself would benefit from just having a brew and talking to like-minded males.

Chris with volunteers at the Here for Humanity hub

"I'm going to get a men's only weekend brew hour organised over the next week and then hope it will run every week, where males of all ages can just sit and talk to each other. There are 25 seats in the room to use.

"Suicide is the biggest killer in young adult males and sometimes a brew and a chat are all that's needed."

People were quick to support the idea, commenting on the Facebook post that they would be eager to be involved.

Dad Chris has remained open about his struggles, having previously spoken out about being given a custodial sentence at just 13 years old and spending more than a decade in and out of prison before turning his life around and helping the community.

Chris founded the Here for Humanity charity in lockdown

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It comes as another local mental health group, Walk and Talk 4 Men has announced it will continue hosting group walks around Avenham and Miller Park this weekend,

More information is available on the Community Owned Here for Humanity Facebook page, which can be contacted by men eager to be involved.

Similarly, the Samaritans can be contacted free any time from any phone on 116 123 or by visiting www.samaritans.ie.

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