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A series of star-studded online meetings and the introduction of a 'Buddyline' service by one of the UK’s largest organisations for men aged over 40 have been hailed as ‘positive actions’ to combat mental health.

41 Club, which has more than 13,500 members across the UK aged from 45 to over 100, has chosen Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May) to shine a light on the proactive measures it has taken to enhance the welfare of its members during the pandemic.

Leading the way has been its weekly 41 Club Connects Zoom meetings which has provided a range of talks and activities. Amongst the star names to appear have been The Shepherdess Amanda Owen, TV sports presenter John Inverdale, BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew, snooker duo Dennis Taylor and John Parrott and Emmerdale actor Dean Andrews.

The series, which has been provided free to members, has also included tours of Jaguar, cooking nights with Great British Menu chef Dave Critchley, beer and gin tasting events and a range of other talks on a wide range of subjects including dementia, Yorkshire Railways, plus personal stories from the warder of Nelson Mandela and WWII veteran Norman Bartlett.

Since its launch, the 41 Club Connects events have attracted a combined total of 12,000 attendees in 26 countries, more than 20,000 views across Facebook and YouTube.

In addition, 41 Club, whose members are all former Round Tablers, also launched 'Buddyline' - a call in service where "members could support members" on a totally confidential basis, for anyone feeling stressed or depressed or simply lonely and isolated.

41 Club national president Peter Good said: "41 Club wanted to demonstrate it is there to support its members - and the feedback from members has been overwhelmingly positive.

"Mental Health Awareness means addressing mental health issues - sometimes, but not always, by speaking about them, and other times by simply taking matters in hand to do something which addresses them.

"While the UK may now be coming out of lockdown, the last year has been challenging and we have members who are older, less mobile and alone. The 41 Club Connects meetings have provided an opportunity for people to come together and enjoy a shared and entertaining experience, while Buddyline has been there for those who needed someone to talk to.

"This has all been done voluntarily and the members of the 41 Club Connects team and the Buddyline volunteers have continued in the Round Table tradition of doing more for others."

The 41 Club Connects events are continuing and this week's guest is footballer John McGovern, who captained Nottingham Forest's European Cup winning team.

ENDS

Issue date: 11 May 2021

Media contact: Don Mullane, National Communications Officer 41 Club - comms@41club.org

Images: A selection of images are available via this link https://www.dropbox.com/sh/qa3g7ndckqhwqla/AACvGzckAfLjMEJg4m-irrZha?dl=0

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