A Huddersfield-based support group for men which tackles the male suicide crisis is holding its first birthday on Sunday.

Andy’s Man Club (AMC) grew out of one man’s experience of his brother-in-law taking his own life.

Rugby player Luke Ambler was left stunned after Andy Roberts, a 23-year-old father of one, killed himself out of the blue in 2016.

Luke Ambler, founder of the Andy's Man Club following his brother-in-law's suicide earlier this year
Luke Ambler, founder of the Andy's Man Club following his brother-in-law's suicide earlier this year

Determined to create a space for men to talk about their problems without judgement or feeling like a burden, Luke set up the club encouraging men from all walks of life to come and chat with other like-minded men in his hometown of Halifax.

Luke admitted he was prepared for only himself and Andy’s mum to turn up to the first meeting. However, he was amazed to find he had tapped into a deep-rooted problem with men desperate to have someone to talk to and battle the stigma of suffering from mental health issues.

I lost my fiance to suicide, now I want to help others bereaved in the same way

Since then the group has mushroomed with thousands of Facebook followers, a nationwide profile and the support of celebrities including rugby star Danny Cipriani and comedian Ricky Gervais.

Astonishingly, suicide is now the biggest killer of young men in the UK, with around 4,500 male suicides every year so the launch of the club was timely.

Andy's Man Club raise awareness of male suicides on New Street, Huddersfield. Facilitator for the club, Robert Thewlis chats with shoppers on New Street.
Andy's Man Club raise awareness of male suicides on New Street, Huddersfield. Facilitator for the club, Robert Thewlis chats with shoppers on New Street.

Rob Thewlis, a spokesman for the club, said: “Everyone is invited to celebrate with us, whether you’ve been to a group or not or never even heard of us.

“The fun is happening at Broad Oak Cricket Club, Linthwaite, from 1pm till late.

“During the day we have a variety of stalls from local businesses with a variety of things for sale from sweets to cheese to Body Shop products.

“There’ll be something for everyone. We have West Yorkshire Fire Service coming along with the fire engine for the kids – and the big kids – to sit in and ask questions they might have.

“And for the bigger kids we have axe throwing courtesy of Huddersfield-based White Wolf Bushcraft Survival School as well as face painting and glitter tattoos and much more.

“From 5pm, we’ll have a DJ, karaoke and talks from some of the members of Andy’s Man Club.

“We’ll also have Brusing Banditas Roller Derby team on site who will be talking about the very exciting partnership with AMC that we are about to launch.

Rob Thewlis from Andy's Man Club during his presentation.
Rob Thewlis from Andy's Man Club during his presentation.

“It’s been a massive year for us at AMC Huddersfield as we’ve grown week in week out.

“I’d like to thank all the businesses and organisations that have donated prizes towards the raffle. There are too many to mention. I’d like to thank Broad Oak for allowing us to hold the event at the cricket club and for making this event possible.

“But I’d also like to thank two of our amazing volunteers, Vicky and Amy, who have both gone out of their way to help us collect prizes and donations and are two of the amazing people who are making this event possible.”