It is a stark statistic. Every two hours in this country, mental health issues force a sufferer to conclude there is no way out other than to take his own life.
EVERY two hours. That’s 12 victims every day of the year ending their lives as a direct result of mental health problems they tragically deem insurmountable.
Often, the suffering is endured in silence, as was the case with 23-year old Andy Roberts, a picture of health on the outside but, unbeknown to family and friends, in such turmoil that he was driven to suicide one Monday in 2016, leaving behind an 18-month old daughter.
As they tried to pick up the pieces, and as it became ever clearer that sharing his worries might have saved Andy, his mum and brother-in-law set up a help group, an outlet for others to unburden themselves.
It was named Andys Man Club, and it soon became an integral part of Altrincham FC’s emphasis on care in the community after we opened our doors at The J.Davidson Stadium and welcomed in a new local branch of AMC just over 18 months ago.
Numbers attending the Monday evening get-togethers have risen steadily since, and it is a source of great pride and satisfaction that we are able to acknowledge our special relationship with Andys Man Club in an official capacity this coming weekend.
This Saturday is World Suicide Prevention Day, and as we are hosting our friends from Wealdstone, in a Vanarama National League fixture at which there will be no segregation, it seemed the ideal opportunity to make Andys Man Club our chosen charity partners for the day.
In a gesture that has been approved by the league, Alty’s players will show their support for the movement by wearing AMC shirts during the pre-match warm-up, while a Walk&Talk gathering has been arranged at Stamford Park’s Cafe In The Park, starting at 11.30am.
If you’re a dog owner for whom walkies is part of the Saturday morning routine, why not drop by - a cordial welcome awaits everyone at the cafe, whether four-legged or two!
In addition, Andys Man Club will have a stand in the Community Sports Hall and bucket collections will be held in aid of this fantastic charity.
It’s always a day to look forward to when Wealdstone visit, given the way our relationship with them was further strengthened by their heartwarming response to Connor Kirby’s serious injury at Grosvenor Vale last year.
Partnering with such a worthwhile cause is going to make it even more special, so let's turn out in numbers and show our support for Andys Man Club as well as the team.