Moving Story Demonstrates Communities Fund’s Mission

MENTELL was one of many groups to receive support from Tameside Council’s Building Stronger Communities Fund (BSCF) which issued grants at the end of last year.

Based in the borough’s south neighbourhood – which covers Hattersley, Hyde and Longdendale – Mentell provides circles where men from all over Tameside can talk about their problems.

Its work is centred on seven principles. Anyone attending does so knowing they will not be forced to accept any advice or commitment, and no one will judge them. They are totally at liberty to share or listen in a safe and confidential setting where they will always be treated with respect.

One man to have benefited from Mentell’s help is Neil. When his marriage broke up after 20 years in Australia, he returned to Britain hoping his family could provide the help he needed. Unfortunately, his anxiety and depression persisted and he began to think of suicide.

Neil

“I was in quite a bad way when I first went. I was very, very low – suicidal and not wanting to wake up in the morning. I’ve gone from there to being able to go along and talk to the guys. Things have improved to the extent that I’m planning to go back to Australia,” explained Neil.

“I didn’t have too much trouble actually going to Mentell because I knew it was going to be beneficial, so if you’re thinking of going I’d definitely recommend it. It’s very worthwhile to be able to speak to somebody else who’s possibly in the same boat as yourself.

“One of the things I really like about Mentell is the structure. They send you an email and it’s got all the details in and you just click on that and then go along to either an online or face-to-face session. I’ve been involved in both and found them really good.

“Things have definitely improved for me and I’m sure whatever situation you’re in it’s worth a try. It’s free and you’ve absolutely nothing to lose. I’m sure that when you go you’ll be wanting to go back because it’s friendly, casual and very beneficial.”

Cllr Vimal Choksi, Tameside Council’s executive member for towns and communities, said: “Neil’s very moving story perfectly demonstrates the types of group and charity the Building Stronger Communities Fund was established to support.

“While BSCF has now closed, we have an excellent replacement in the Tameside Community Inspiration and Innovation Fund which is accepting applications throughout March.

“To qualify, community groups and charities need a project based around one or more of four themes: Keeping people safe, preventing and reducing youth anti-social behaviour, strengthening communities through green spaces, supporting poverty and vulnerability.

“I would strongly encourage people to submit an application. Further information is available at www.actiontogether.org.uk

To learn more about Mentell visit www.mentell.org.uk. You can hear Neil’s story in full at https://share.vidyard.com/watch/fYa37kmwbspSEMRMLCksRr?

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