Preston charity hosting festival to raise money for men’s mental health

A family friendly festival is taking place this Sunday, offering a range of fun activites and a chance to support an important cause.

By Aimee Seddon
Friday, 27th August 2021, 12:30 pm

The Preston branch of Andy’s Man Club, a men’s mental health charity, are hosting a festival this bank holiday Sunday to raise funds for their vital work.

Taking place at Penwortham Cricket Club between 12 noon and 11pm, the family-fun day features a Lancashire vs Yorkshire cricket competition, three local bands, and a silent auction featuring signed sports memorabilia, including Preston North End and Manchester United items.

There will also be a large BBQ, fully-stocked bar, bouncy castle, caribbean dance troupe, characaturist, sweet and cake stalls, plus electric bikes that power a Scalextric velodrome so guests can race their friends.

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Group Facilitator Chris Pope (far right) says men's mental health is a major issue in the Preston area.

Preston group facilitator, Chris Pope, who is in charge of promoting the festival, said: “It will be a fun day, it’s the bank holiday weekend so you can have all the family come and enjoy it, whether that be kids, grandkids, parents, or come with your friends and have a drink, and listen to the bands for free. There’s no cost to come in, we’re going to have donation boxes if you want to donate but you don’t have to if you don’t want to, just enjoy the day!”

Andy’s Man Club Preston provides a space for men to discuss their mental health and was founded in November 2020 by Gerald Hughes from Tarleton.

Chris, who also helped found a Blackburn branch only 5 weeks ago, added: “Having now worked with men’s mental health in Preston, I don’t think people realise how prevalent it is, the statistics are pretty dire in the area, probably one of the worst places in the North West for suicide rates, and to see on a week-to-week basis how Andy’s Man Club has literally saved people’s lives in front of me, where people were coming down suicidal and now are back at work, back having relationships again, why would you not want to support that cause?

“If you walk down the street you don’t know what somebody is going through, you just assume everything is fine, but then you turn up to a meeting and some people’s stories are absolutely heartbreaking so if people had more access to things like Andy’s Man Club then it would save more lives.”

Andy’s Man club is a national charity founded in 2016 by friends of Andy Roberts from Yorkshire, who sadly committed suicide age 23.

There are now 59 branches across the country, who all hold meetings at 7pm on Mondays, which are free to attend, and require no referrals.

You can find out more about Andy’s Man Club by emailing [email protected], and you can visit the Preston group on Facebook here.

Suicidie is currently the biggest killer of men under 45, whilst the highest suicide rates in the UK are for men aged 45-49.

For confidential support call Samaritans on 116 123.