Supporting charities is a personal passion for the team at Origin Workspace. Talk Club is one of five local charity partners we support.
When you think of a local workspace getting involved in a social media video, Tyson Fury probably doesn’t spring to mind as one of the video’s main stars. But that’s exactly what happened when the men’s mental health charity Talk Club got their office team at Origin Workspace involved in their latest campaign.
“Tyson has been quite open about his struggles with mental health”, explains one of the charity’s co-founders Tom Watson. “His team got in touch with us to say he wanted to support our work as part of his single, so we featured in the music video to Sweet Caroline and got a lot of the people at Origin involved.
“They are always very supportive of everything we do, offering free meeting space and Rob has even helped sponsor some of our activities. I went to one of Tyson’s fights afterwards and they played our video as he did his ring walk – my personal three minutes of fame!” Laughs Tom.
This positive approach to mental health is at the heart of the Talk Club concept, while the team always maintains a serious level of respect for the issue they are helping tackle.
The charity was founded in Bristol by six co-founders following the making of a documentary. The film was a personal project by co-founder Ben Akers after his childhood best friend took his own life.
Ben made the film “Steve” which he showed at 50 venues up and down the country before lockdown with the hope of promoting mental fitness and to get men talking. An important part of the documentary focused on the positive actions that men can take to improve their mental health.
“All co-founders were involved in the making of the film”, shares Tom. “The biggest killer of men under 49 is suicide. The most likely thing to kill me is me.
“Mental health impacts everyone” he continues. If we want society to thrive then we need to have mentally fit men. It’s good for their peers and for their relationships. We want to bring these statistics down in the UK by making mental health less scary and more accessible to men.”
It all began in the back room of a Bristol Beer Factory pub, which is fitting considering the team are the official partners on the BBF alcohol free beer Clear Head, and the BBF pub now displays a mural dedicated to the Talk Club approach.
“It’s a peer to peer support talking group. Our groups are led by blokes called Captains who are trained by Talk Club to facilitate and create safe spaces for men to talk and listen,” says Tom.
Group sessions begin with each man sharing how they are out of 10? Giving them the tools, the language to be open. And then share their reasons why.
“We now have 70 groups around the world and over 3,000 men in the community. And we’ve expanded from Talking groups to ‘Talk & Move’ groups which offer the same formula but include a physical activity such as running, football, rugby, or even skating.”
If you have been “mentally injured” we also offer Talk Club therapy – group therapy run by qualified therapists.
“Origin has been really supportive in the development of the charity”, says Tom. “They offer us meeting spaces, help us host events and Rob is a keen runner so he has helped with the Talk & Move sessions. But they go above and beyond by sponsoring some of our sessions and running kits too.
“We all run the charity part-time at the moment so this support is integral to our growth, we’re very happy to have found Rob and the rest of the Origin team and to have them backing us.”
If you would like to know more about Talk Club contact Ben Akers at [email protected].