I first attended Andy’s Man Club in Hartlepool on May 13 th 2019 after being told about it by someone who
works in the same building as me and lives in Hartlepool. I was really excited about going but the closer it
got to the day the more I felt nervous. I suffer with social anxiety, as well as depression, and was worried
about going as I did not know what to expect. I had never attended a group like this before and it felt so far
out of my comfort zone.
That first night was fantastic and I really enjoyed the group and got on with the people I met, I had read a
bit on the website about the charity and was in awe at how something so amazing could come from such a
tragedy and how Luke and Elaine were able to turn their grief into something that has now helped
thousands of people. I think in the 3 rd or 4th week that I was there, Andy Greenway and a couple of the
facilitators from different groups came up to Hartlepool and one of them said to me that they could see
that I got what the group was about. That comment was massive for me and I have never missed a week
since I joined partly thanks to that comment.
I have gained so much confidence from attending AMC and that has never been more evident than when
the charity did the bus tour, in September, around all the towns and cities that had a group. The bus was
due to arrive in Hartlepool at 5 pm but did not arrive until after 7:30 pm. Hartlepool had a football match
that night live on BT Sports. One of the Hartlepool facilitators got us into the ground and we walked
around the stands handing out leaflets to the crowd whilst they watched the game. I had conversations
with different fans in the crowd about what AMC does. I also got to meet Luke and some of the facilitators
from around the country for the first time. This was something I would never have had the confidence to do
before I started attending AMC.
In September/October, I became one of the facilitators at Hartlepool and as a result, started looking for
venues in Sunderland to open a new AMC. This happened in February 2020 when myself and John, who
was the first person I met at AMC, opened the new Sunderland group at Bede College.
The best way I can try to describe to people how Andy’s Man Club has helped me is by comparing it to a
building site. When I started at AMC I was a dilapidated house, the group (building site) and it’s attendees
(builders) have knocked that house (me) down and re-built it brick by brick to a point now where it is a
functioning and thriving building.