In January 2019, Andy’s Man Club had only one group running in Devon and they were looking for support to help spread the word and continue to grow. Craig Harrison, AMC facilitator, wanted to help set up a club in Plymouth and through a connection at Sir John Hunt Community Sports College, he was introduced to Lisa Grant, our Senior Internal Quality Assurance Lead at On Course South West.
Craig and Lisa met to discuss AMC and how On Course could help support them by offering a space in Plymouth for the groups to meet. After some planning and a bit of date shuffling, they managed to get something sorted and in May 2019 launched the first AMC group in Plymouth. Now, some 7 months later, we asked Craig how it went and what difference it has made. Craig told us, “even after a few weeks we saw a difference. We started to see dozens of men turn up, sometimes as many as 29 would attend the group.”
We asked Craig what typically happens during the sessions? “Each session starts with three questions, how has your week been? Can you give us a positive from your week and is there anything you want to get off your chest? We then usually end off with a few more positive questions, which can be something as simple as tell us your favourite joke.”
The groups are run completely anonymously which is one of the reasons it works so well in helping men to open up, as Lisa told us. “People can come in when they want, there’s no sign-up or commitment to register. Before, there was no place for men to talk in a safe space, and that’s what we wanted to help provide.” There are now 25 groups across the country and 4 in Devon. The Plymouth group also just reached a milestone by receiving their five hundredth attendee, proving even further, the need for somewhere for men to come and talk.
To find out more about Andy’s Man Club visit or drop into a session on Monday’s from 7 pm at Swarthmore Centre, Mutley Plain.
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