Andy’s Man Club: eighth club joins Fife network to help men to talk

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Andy’s Man Club will begin hosting its eighth club in Fife next week.

From Monday, it launches weekly meetings at the Wellesley Centre in Methil.

The first Fife club opened in Dunfermline in 2019 and since then Kenny Armour, project development champion, says it has “just snowballed”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Now Fife has more of Scotland’s 25 active clubs than any other area of the country. The Methil club joins Cowdenbeath, Dalgety Bay, Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, St. Andrews, and Dunfermline, which now hosts two separate meetings, as the network of support grows.

The groups meet at 7:00pm every Monday at eight sites across FifeThe groups meet at 7:00pm every Monday at eight sites across Fife
The groups meet at 7:00pm every Monday at eight sites across Fife

Andf there is a clear need for them.

Kenny said was unsure why Fife has such a concentration of clubs, but that they are “really well used” and that they are looking at adding more in the future as discussions around male mental health become more normalised.

He said: “There’s still a long way to go to break that stigma down, it is okay to come out and talk.

"Before, no one would really come out and talk about it, so, I think that’s the big increase behind i – it’s getting more talked about now”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Kenny Armour is the project development champion for Andy's Man ClubKenny Armour is the project development champion for Andy's Man Club
Kenny Armour is the project development champion for Andy's Man Club
Read More
'This group has definitely saved my life' - Fifers with mental health issues spe...

Andy’s Man Club was founded in 2016 by the family of 23 year old Andrew Roberts who took his own life.

The clubs meet at 7:00pm every Monday and are an opportunity for any man over the age of 18 to talk about their mental health.

From nine people in a pub in Halifax, there are now over 100 clubs throughout the UK, with more than 2000 men attending weekly.

The clubs rely on donations and funding, and are run by volunteers who are former service usersThe clubs rely on donations and funding, and are run by volunteers who are former service users
The clubs rely on donations and funding, and are run by volunteers who are former service users

They come from all walks of life, with volunteers leading the meetings looking to give back after used the service.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Armour said: “You get all age groups, all sexualities, religions, races. It’s a wide variety, it’s open to any man over 18 years old and you get everything through the door – drug, alcohol, child abuse.

"It’s all people who have been through experiences, and all the volunteers are boys who have been through using the club and are now giving back to helping people”.

Before taking on a full time role with the club, Kenny attended meetings at the Kirkcaldy branch of Andy’s Man Club. He said he first realised that he was struggling following the birth of his daughter.

He said: “When she was one or two, she was enjoying herself, she was having fun with me, whereas I was kind of miserable. I never wanted to be here”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The realisation prompted him to seek help, and he was prescribed medication which led to years of ups and downs.

Kenny had served his time at BiFab but was made redundant in 2019. This, coupled with the stress of becoming self-employed, saw him use alcohol as a coping mechanism. However, in 2021 the Kirkcaldy branch launched.

Armour said: “It had only just opened and I was going through a really bad patch. I made a point of going for the first night.

"For just over a year now I’ve been using the club weekly, I’ve not had a drink since I’ve attended a club.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Just having that power of being able to talk, even if you’re having a good week, it’s just being able to open up about small things and being in a group where there might be an 18 year old or there might be a 60 year old there – but you’re able to relate to them, and what they're going through, and what they're feeling.

"I think that’s where it’s helped me a lot”.

Now Kenny is responsible for looking after clubs as they open and assisting the volunteers that run the clubs.

He also looks for new ways to fund the clubs, they don’t take any grant money for the work they do.

However, there is still work to be done and raising awareness is one of the biggest challenges

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Kenny said: “It's the stigmas around mental health and it’s about us trying to break them down by raising awareness. Hopefully that is happening and folk can look at different clubs and say ‘why can’t we do that?’”.

If you would like to attend a meeting, or find out more information about Andy’s Man Club, you can find a list of active clubs online at: https://andysmanclub.co.uk/find-your-nearest-group/

They take place at 7:00pm, every Monday night.