When Electrify launched in January 2016, one of the first clients to join us was the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) - and so today we're really proud that the fruits of that project have been revealed.
Men are in trouble. They are two-a-half times more likely than women to die by suicide each year with the biggest group at risk being men in their forties and early fifties. Men aren't great at talking about how they feel, and we know that talking is one of the first steps to better mental health. Without talking, opening up and taking action, nothing will change.
We worked with SAMH to develop a concept for the Movember Foundation's Social Innovators Challenge and the outcome was a successful award of funding for The Changing Room'. The project is one of 13 funded by global charity, selected from 400 initial applications. There were four awarded in the UK.
The Changing Room will initially be a two-year pilot project in which SAMH will work with the SPFL Trust and Hibernian Football Club to engage with men using the power of football to promote mental health and wellbeing.
This project is the first in Scotland to be funded by the global men's health charity, Movember Foundation. The Foundation raises funds to deliver innovative, breakthrough research and support programmes that enable men to live happier, healthier and longer lives.
During the development stage of the pilot project, we worked with SAMH in partnership with SPFL Trust to design, distribute and promote a survey to football fans all across Scotland which asked questions about their involvement with football and the conversations they have.
We provided support in the form of strategic advice, led focus groups, supported copywriting and provided sense checking on the relationship between sport, mental health and charity sectors to help ensure that SAMH's submission was highly credible.
Through that process we learnt that a range of activities (physical, educational and online) would help support and sustain engagement, educate men about mental health as well as enhancing their capacity to better self-manage it and more importantly help each other.
The Changing Room will exist both offline and online where men (age 30 to 64 years) will have an innovative, inspirational and safe place where they can take action for their mental health. The aim is to increase the social connectedness of men in their middle years and deliver a programme of activity that will reduce loneliness and ultimately improve their mental health and wellbeing.
Electrify owner-director Lawrence Broadie revealed his delight that 21 months of work had finally been revealed.
'This was a project that was hard to speak about in that we were taking part in a global submission process, so we're really pleased that SAMH have been able to make the announcement of funding, today,' he said.
'SAMH showed great faith in us as a new business when we set up, and so it's special for us to see this project coming to life.
'It is hugely satisfying that we were able to play a little part in what has turned out to a be a historic funding award.'