Mental health is high on the agenda for NHS Wyre & Fylde Clinical Commissioning group and it is understood that 16.4% of residents in Wyre have had or are going through mental health issues.
This percentage is greater than the national average and in particular we are seeing a large rise in the amount of males with a mental health condition. Mental health can present in many forms, such as low self-esteem, anxiety and depression. One of the main barriers to seeking help is the stigma involved, with men statistically demonstrating that they struggle to open up to others about their condition.
Fleetwood Men’s Shed was formed in October 2018 with the initial idea of gaining land for a shed to be purchased, to be used by residents in the town to spend time to create various pieces of woodwork.
The foundations of the initiatives were formed by Tony O’Neill, a local resident wanting to make a difference in his community following the increase in awareness of incidents over recent years. The group now work with over 50 men on a weekly basis from veterans to feeding the homeless. In addition, they have also launched a new shop in Fleetwood, named “The Open Arms”.
Mental Health charity, Mind explain the ways that physical activity can improve your condition:
- Improved sleep
- Greater confidence
- Socialising with others
- Anxiety and stress release
Fleetwood Town Community Trust deliver inclusive sporting activities and quizzes for all that attend the existing Thursday morning session, now hosted at Highbury Stadium’s Red & White’s. This enables the group to move around more freely, opening up conversations with other residents that attend each week.
Tony stated: “It’s amazing to see the work that Fleetwood Town Community Trust are doing with us. The staff at Fleetwood Town are really bringing the best out of our lads and we can see a huge improvement in their confidence.”
Project lead, John Hartley added, “It’s great to see the impact our involvement with Men’s Shed is having, to see them laughing and joking after going through such a tough time is the reason I enjoy doing my job.”
For anybody that would like to attend, we meet at Red & White’s Bar at Highbury Stadium, Park Avenue, Fleetwood every Thursday morning from 10am.