Joining hands on Scammonden Bridge to say #ItsOkToTalk

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This year has been an incredible one for the #ItsOkToTalk movement and Andy’s Man Club, set up by Halifax rugby league player Luke Ambler.

He set the campaign up after his brother-in-law Andrew took his own life earlier this year. Luke was spurred on to make a difference and was determined to do something to break the stigma around mental health.

An initial club was set up at the Threeways Centre, Ovenden, which now runs from the Shay Stadium, and it has also spread to Hebden Bridge, Leigh and Hull.

It gives people an open space to talk and it’s hoped the format will spread even further.

Around 100 supporters gathered at Scammonden Bridge over the weekend to create a human chain in a show of solidarity.

Luke said: “It’s a hard time of year for a lot of people and the ‘bridging the silence’ event was to help people know that it really is ‘okay to talk’ - even more so through times of struggle.”

A Christmas party was also held at The Shay, attended by more than 200 people. Around 50 shoeboxes were donated, which were then taken to The Gathering Place, Halifax, to be distributed to homeless people.