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Newcastle United Foundation Team Up With Barber To Talk Mental Health

A North East barber is using his clients’ passion for football by teaming up with Newcastle United Foundation to get more men talking about mental health.

Members of the Lions Barber Collective are working with the official charity arm of Newcastle United to turn time spent in the barbershop chair into a confidential conversation about how patrons are really feeling.

Newcastle United Foundation launched the #BeAGameChanger campaign earlier this year to encourage Magpies supporters to talk more openly about their mental wellbeing.

To coincide with the global Movember movement this month, the Foundation and Lions Barber Collective are raising awareness of men’s health issues, including suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.

Staff and participants are among clients at the Hidden Heights Creative Studio in Gateshead, receiving professional grooming and styling, as well as advice and support from Lions Barber Collective Global Ambassador, Sam Wall.

Sam joined the international collective of barbers to raise awareness of suicide prevention using #BarberTalk training to recognise and understand how best to support someone struggling with their mental health.

Ashley Lowe, Health and Wellbeing Manager at Newcastle United Foundation, said: “The Lions Barber Collective does amazing work with barbers in the North East, and across the world, and it’s great to team up with them and promote the benefits of talking about mental health.

“Suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged between 20 and 49 and the North East has one of the highest rates of suicide.

“Through this collaboration and our #BeAGameChanger campaign, we are trying to reach as many Newcastle United Fans and men across the North East as we can and encourage them to open up about mental health.”

The Lions Barber Collective was set up in 2015 by British barber, Tom Chapman, and now operates throughout the UK and further afield. The charity aims to turn barbershops into safe spaces for men to discuss their mental wellbeing, with added support from the Samaritans.

Lions Barber Collective founder, Tom, said: “Every opportunity we have to work with others to raise awareness for mental wellbeing and suicide prevention is a privilege and may make the difference to someone meaning another life saved.

“To think a huge, historic football club like Newcastle United wants to help with the fight against mental ill health is incredible. They have such a huge reach and influence and together we will reach so many.

“Having our Lions Ambassador, Sam Wall help out with such an amazing project is fantastic and we are incredibly proud to have him as part of the pride.”

Newcastle United Foundation’s #BeAGameChanger campaign currently engages more than 700 men and has reached thousands more via social media. Two events will also be hosted at St. James’ Park this month, open to anyone in need of support.

On November 19 – International Men’s Day – Bruce Durham from Huddle Culture will lead a workshop offering tips and advice on understanding and applying positive mental health strategies.

A #BeAGameChanger fundraising event follows on November 28 at NINE Sports Bar, within St. James’ Park, featuring live music, buffet, guest speakers including John Anderson, and the chance to win signed Magpies merchandise.

To find out more about #BeAGameChanger, visit nufoundation.org.uk/beagamechanger or follow @NU_Foundation on Twitter.

Altneratively, for more information on The Lions Barber Collective, visit thelionsbarbercollective.com

For more information on getting involved with #BeAGameChanger
Email ashley.lowe@nufc.co.uk

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