1685. Matthew Pollard
Matthew Pollard, from West Sussex, aged 27, founded the initiative ‘MenWalkTalk’ in January 2020 to inspire other men to improve their mental and physical wellbeing by being active outside and talking through their issues together.
After experiencing his own mental health difficulties, Matthew founded ‘MenWalkTalk’ to inspire other men to improve their physical wellbeing and mental wellbeing by walking outside in the fresh air and talking through their issues. Matthew’s walking groups have been attended by hundreds of men in his local area, and moved online to zoom sessions and virtual walks during lockdown. With the charity now rolling out across the UK, Matthew is hoping to encourage other men to create their own peer led support groups wherever they reside.
In a personal letter to Matthew, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“By speaking out publicly on the importance of mental health and male suicide, you are helping to end the stigma around this issue. Your initiative ‘MenWalkTalk’ has created an environment where men can improve their mental and physical wellbeing, encouraging each other to talk, rather than suffering in silence.”
Nick Gibb, MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton said:
“I am delighted that Matthew has been recognised by the Prime Minister for his hard work and dedication to improving men’s mental and physical health and I wish him continued success in expanding MenWalkTalk to other communities across the country.”
In response to receiving the award, Matthew said:
“I am so so surprised and grateful to receive this recognition from the Prime Minister!
The recognition isn’t all about my work, I have to give credit to the core group of guys who have made ‘MenWalkTalk’ a welcoming community, offering peer support for any newcomer, and to my team of trusted volunteers who have helped establish and grow a bigger group offer across the UK!
And finally, a huge thank you to our ambassadors David Tag & Dan Westwood who regularly get involved and support us in raising awareness of the ‘MenWalkTalk’ offer and events.
I hope that this Point of Light recognition reaffirms to any guy reading this that it’s okay to talk, there will always be someone prepared to listen, however scary it may feel, you are welcome to join us online or in person.
When in doubt; walk it out!”
Pictured above: Matthew Pollard (Left) with Ambassador David Tag (Right)