This week, my travels took me to Bradford and one of our most well-established clubs. AMC Bradford has been running successfully for 3 years and has now found a new venue, Dancestars School of Dance in the heart of the city. With enough space for 50 attendees and ample hot drink facilities operating after the pandemic, there was a real buzz and excitement surrounding this club’s first night in its new home.
With 22 in attendance on the night, the group was split in two, with Lead Facilitator Tobias Pritchard taking one group and Facilitators David Leakey and Martin Woods taking the other. Each group featured new attendees and in both sessions, these new attendees found themselves opening up to the room and finding the experience beneficial on a personal and also group level.
AMC’s Project Development Champion Neil Waine took part in Tobias’ session, and I took part in the session run by David and Martin. This was my third experience of an AMC session and it was a unique night for me. The energy of David and Martin bouncing off one another made for a welcoming experience for all. As always, I was listening intently to the stories, reflections and answers of all attendees on the night and finding myself relating both directly and indirectly to a few issues displayed.
The story of one participant particularly inspired me, and with his permission, I would like to share part of his story. This man had been attending AMC for just over a year, and had by his own admission made a great deal of progress over this period of time. Within 6 months of his attendance, this man began to lend an ear to his work colleagues and friends, even bringing some of these people along to AMC sessions. For a man who had suffered greatly from Anxiety and Depression over the years to be able to help his peers is remarkable. During the session, he revealed that a colleague had come into his workplace last week in floods of tears. Our attendee picked up on some of the emotions felt by this individual and proceeded to help and comfort them. By the end of the work day, this colleague was thanking our attendee for his help and extended their gratitude to him.
Stories like this are to me what Andy’s Man Club is all about. Attending sessions on a regular basis has completely restored my faith in humanity and made me realise that there are amazing people out there who are willing to listen to any story and offer help. Thanks again to Tobias, David and Martin for having myself and Neil at the session, and good luck settling into your fantastic new home!