ANDY'S MAN CLUB in Dunfermline has seen 1,792 men come through its doors since last May.

During lockdown, the group, which helps challenge the stigma of mental health, meets online once a week and is reaching out to men who need support now more than ever.

Not only is the Dunfermline branch celebrating its first birthday but the group's leader, 24-year-old Ryan McKillop, is in the running to be named Young Scot 2020.

Ryan said: "Andy's Man Club has never been about me so I feel really quite overwhelmed! Even my missus was in on the act and they all hid it from me so it was quite a surprise when I got the news!

"What a year it has been! It was a well-needed group in the area and I have met some absolutely brilliant friends.

"Unfortunately, we haven't been able to have the birthday party we planned but we will definitely celebrate properly when we can!

"I am forever grateful for every guy who has had the courage to attend and share and help others' cause. Without them all, the club wouldn't be what it is today.

"My co-facilitators deserve a massive thanks because they have been terrific in supporting others and helping me.

"I'm really really missing the group on a Monday face-to-face, however, online meets are still proving successful and it won't be forever."

Andy's Man Club provides a space to talk under the banner #ITSOKTOTALK across all of its branches in the UK.

Ryan helped set up the Dunfermline branch while dealing with mental health struggles but credits the club for changing his life.

In a bid to help others, he helped set up the Dunfermline group at the Erskine Building every Monday between 7-9pm, offering men a cup of tea and a place to chat once a week.

Ryan said: "We made the decision about eight weeks ago to stop meeting face-to-face; we quite quickly worked out how we were going to continue and moved online.

"I was very aware that for the 50-odd guys that go, it's part of their week so it's really important that we do something.

"It's pretty much working the same where I ask questions and everyone gets a chance to answer.

"I'm looking at different ways to make it a bit more manageable but I think the most difficult thing is that a lot of guys have got young families.

"They used to spend some time leaving the house to come to the group but now they can't do that.

"I know myself as a guy with a young family that it can be hard to get that time to think and that's a big barrier at the moment.

"I have been able to share things with the group that I've not been ready to say to my family and I wonder how easy it is to open up online when you're at home when you don't know who might be listening.

"For me, I've found it useful going out for a walk and listening to the meeting."

Ryan knows that for many in the group, the lockdown will be difficult to cope with and everybody involved is trying to offer as much support to each other as they can, not just on Mondays but all through the week.

"There are barriers to the normal coping methods such as exercise," Ryan said.

"It's extremely challenging living in closed living quarters and some guys are quite fearful of the virus itself.

"I try to make sure I message people every day and just generate conversation, share a video or a positive message.

"Staying connected is the most important thing."

New members are welcome to join Andy's Man Club. Visit