THE anxiety and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic has been a leading concern among men using Andy's Man Club for support.

The Dunfermline group has seen hundreds of men of all ages reach out over the course of 2020 in both face-to-face sessions and online meetings.

Ryan McKillop, one of the group's founders, told the Press: "I would most definitely say that the anxieties and fear that COVID-19 brings has been a dominant worry among the people who come here.

"For someone who suffers from depression and anxiety, they can find life to be quite chaotic on a daily basis, and that was before the pandemic.

"Now, with this new lockdown and being told to stay at home and keep to yourself again, it can be very difficult for people.

"Many people have lost their job during the pandemic; businesses have gone and many more will.

"I think, in my opinion, we're only at the halfway stage of dealing with COVID-19. You just wonder how many more people are going to lose their jobs, homes, businesses and loved ones, whether that is down to someone taking their own life, getting COVID-19 or not being able to receive treatment and/or surgery due to delays in the NHS and some services being postponed or cancelled due to the strain that the NHS is under.

"COVID makes so many elements of life so difficult to navigate.

"I think the future is looking quite scary but you can only hope that these vaccines provide some form of security and hope. That will only be revealed in the coming months."

Despite the current restrictions across Fife and the rest of the country, Andy's Man Club is still able to offer meetings in-person at the Erskine Building in Dunfermline on Monday nights between 7-9pm.

The meetings are COVID-secure, meaning anyone who wishes to attend must first email: to register your interest as early as possible.

The Erskine Building allows for social-distancing and masks should be worn when moving around the venue and on entry, unless you are exempt medically.

Ryan added that the meetings were still proving to be a valuable source of help and support for the men who use it as it provides a sense of community in these dark times.

And he said it could be a valuable source of positivity to counteract what he reads from some people on social media.

He explained: "There's a few people that I know, or know of, that believe in conspiracy theories surrounding coronavirus. If they want to believe that, that's up to them.

"But, for me, I know people that have been at death's door because of COVID, who had been in ICU for months.

"Thankfully, all of them have pulled through. They still struggle from it now but they're still here and with us.

"Many people aren't here.

"I find it very disrespectful when I see people commenting on Dunfermline Press stories about the coronavirus and how many cases and deaths there have been.

"I see people leaving comments about the pandemic being just a 'scare tactic' and I just sit and think to myself that you're never going to win against someone like that.

"You kind of question their mentality and start to wonder what planet they are on as coronavirus is very real."