Youngsters taking part in the National Citizen Service Scheme at Victoria Park have made moves to set up a project aimed at spreading positive messages about mental health.
Organised by the Club’s Community Sports Foundation (HUCSF) youngsters between the ages of 15 and 17 have been given the chance to embark on a series of challenges which help them build skills for work and life.
During Phase 2 of their course, they met Luke Ambler – a former professional rugby player who has used his own mental health battles and those of his family to set up motivational workshops to help young people.
Luke delivered a session to the NCS students in which he revealed that in 2016 his brother-in-law committed suicide and explained that suicide is the biggest single killer of males under 45.
In an attempt to try and help address that problem, Luke set up Andy’s Man Club – a place for men to go and be part of something and have the opportunity to talk if they so wish.
Luke’s talk inspired the youngsters to such an extent that they decided to set up their own branch of Andy’s Man Club – and the launch event was backed by Pools boss Craig Harrison at Victoria Park last week.
The event saw presentations from the NCS students, Luke himself, as well as representatives from Run Fit Hartlepool and Hartlepool MIND.
“It’s great to see the young people being inspired to do something so positive,” admitted Harrison.
“We all have our own battles and men often struggle to open about issues so the more places for them to get the opportunity to do that the better it’s going to be.
“I was very impressed with how professional the whole evening was and I would like to wish all the students success with the project in the future.”
Vicki Hutchinson, NCS Co-Ordinator for HUCSF, commented: “It is great to watch our young people be inspired.
“Luke has definitely provided an inspiration for them and hopefully their project of creating an ‘Andy’s Man Club’ in Hartlepool in have a positive impact on the men in our community.”