Wigan group supporting men's mental health is going for goal with its first fund-raiser
A Wigan group supporting men with their mental health is swapping walking shoes for football boots.
Men Walking Tall was set up before the coronavirus pandemic as a Facebook group where people could share their problems and get support.
Founder Thomas Cottom, from New Springs, soon started to organise walks at Haigh Woodland Park, allowing men to socialise and boost both their physical and mental health.
Now that most coronavirus restrictions have been lifted, the group is keen to progress and will start with a fund-raising football tournament and family fun day this Saturday.
A range of five-a-side teams have signed up to take part, from other mental health groups like Bridging The Gap to organisations and football teams. Matches will be held at The Deanery High School’s sports facility from 9.30am.
Spectators can also enjoy browsing a range of stalls and visit a food truck, while the bar at nearby Wigan Sports Club will be open.
Organisers believe it is vital that the group can resume its activities and expand to help more people.
Liam Aitken, from Men Walking Tall, said: “Now we need this more than ever.
“We have a room at Sunshine House in Scholes, so we have somewhere to meet and start our walks.
“This is a fund-raiser so we can hire the room out for longer.”
The tournament will also raise awareness of the importance of good mental health among men.
The group has eight mentors who have experienced many of life’s hardships, including depression, anxiety, addiction, bereavement and family problems, and are on hand to openly speak to members to offer support.
Men Walking Tall aims to educate people on mental health issues and getting the right help, as well as provide a safe space for men to socialise to improve their mental and physical health.
Liam said: “We want to let people know they are not alone and we are up and running again.”
To find out more, search for Men Walking Tall on Facebook or Instagram.
There are also WhatsApp groups for members, so they can stay informed and support each other.
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