New group launches in Hartlepool to tackle men's mental health issues

A new group to help boost men's physical and mental health is looking to attract new members in 2020.

Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 11:11 am

STAGS Hartlepool launched at the Rift House Community Centre in November and is described as ‘a youth club for men’.

It provides a place where men affected by anxiety or mental health issues can get things off their chest over a game of pool, darts, table tennis or cards.

And members can also get fit in the club’s new gym after receiving a £500 grant from the Middlesbrough Philanthropic Foundation. STAGS Hartlepool, which stands Stand Together And Grow Stronger’, was formed by its lead co-ordinator Martin Connelly.

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STAGS Hartlepool co-ordinator Matin Connelly in the club's new gym at Rift House Community Centre.
STAGS Hartlepool co-ordinator Matin Connelly in the club's new gym at Rift House Community Centre.

He had attended Andy’s Man Club, which meets at Victoria Park every Monday night, but wanted to introduce a few activities as well as the chance to talk about mental health.

Martin, 34, said: “I would never go out and if I did I could never enjoy the moment.

“I just dedicated life to my work and family.

“Through Andy’s Man Club I discovered a lot of other people do the same.”

STAGS Hartlepool were given a £500 grant from Middlesbrough Philanthropic Foundation for the gym equipment.

STAGS Hartlepool meet at the Rift House Community Centre, in Masefield Road, every Thursday from 6pm-9pm, and is open to any man over 18.

Martin, who is married with three children and three step-children, added: “It is just to let people know they are not by themselves and there is a place where they can come to feel included and be part of something. “It's essentially a youth club for men and somewhere to talk and get things off our chest as well.

“We have 15-20 regular attendees but would really likely that number to grow.”

Following their recent grant they have created a gym for to promote a healthy body and healthy mind approach.

STAGS Hartlepool offers pool, table tennis and darts.

It has a multi-gym, exercise bike, cross trainers, rowing machine, treadmill and punch bag.

Martin said: “A lot of guys want to go to the gym and be fit but are scared of the environment and feel self conscious.

“We have got a private room where they can exercise at their own pace.”

For more details, see STAGS Hartlepool on Facebook, call 07935 152839.