A local businessman and leader of Andy’s Man Club Hull is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in October to create funds to set up clubs in other parts of the UK, in a bid to confront the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK, suicide.
Leon McQuade is taking on the African mountain as he says the physical feat is small in comparison to the emotional challenges faced by many young men in today’s society.
Leaving the UK on 4 October, Leon is appealing to the local community to help him raise a minimum £5000 to spread the help of Andy’s Man Club far and wide.
The club has used social media to support young men, with weekly meetings who feel vulnerable and alone with their mental health. Since starting in July 2017, the Hull club has had over 1300 visits, averaging 30 men per week. Leon says:
“We have seen the effect first-hand of Andy’s Man Club on local men, preventing them from taking their lives and supporting one another through hard times. I am so passionate about spreading the message and being able to set up new clubs in other areas.”
“Climbing Kilimanjaro is a personal challenge for me, one that I have wanted to do for many years and so I have funded my journey through my business. Now I need a further £1500 to complete the climb which will provide food, pay for guides and equipment, then anything raised after that will help us open a new club.”
Initially, Andy’s Man Club Hull hopes to see five companies pay £300 each to show their support of men’s mental health. These will be partners of the Hull Club and be featured on the website and across social media networks and daily blogs from Africa will also feature these companies’ branding.
“Our Kilimanjaro partners will not only be providing financial support but they will also make a bold statement of support for men with mental health issues.”
“Nationally 300 men per week attend Andy’s Man Club but we know there are so many more who need to access this service. Social media has been fantastic for us, through sharing weekly videos and inviting men along, we have grown significantly and this is what is pushing me along to raise as much money as I can.”
“We aim to halve the number of suicides in men. I know that’s a massive task, but it’s something to strive for and to do this we need more clubs.”
Leon is organising a variety of fund-raising events and calls for anyone who has been affected by male suicide to come forward and get involved.