The Cornermen provides a service aimed at improving men’s mental health and suicide prevention.

The service provides access to experienced professionals for men struggling with their mental wellbeing. Working alongside and signposting to other agencies where need arises.

South Moreton Boxing club

The Cornermen, based at South Moreton Boxing Club, will offer to pick up clients who are struggling with Mental Health issues in a London Taxi and bring them to the club where they can engage in some physical training, take a walk along the nearby bridle paths, or get a haircut, all with a trained Support Workers, able to offer them advice on how to best address the issues they may face.

John Houston, owner of South Moreton Boxing Club said “I started the club 16 years ago, and we have always had a wide variety of people through the doors. In the last couple of years though, and particularly after lockdown, I noticed that many more people were talking about their anxiety, depression, PTSD or substance and alcohol abuse. I just saw a real need to try and do something to help with these problems and that’s when I approached Steve James, a Member at the Club. Steve has worked in Support Services for 20 years, 14 of those managing Support Services for the large homeless charity, Emmaus, in Oxford. We came up with the idea of the Cornermen, and then talked to many people in this field to see if the service we were contemplating starting was viable and useful, and we had an overwhelmingly positive response, so we are moving forward to get the service off the ground.”

Steve James said “Didcot in particular is expanding rapidly, without sufficient support structures in place to deal with the Mental Health issues that will come with that. This was viscerally brought home to me when a young lad was stabbed outside my Didcot home. I was looking to do something locally, having worked in Oxford for so long, and when John approached me with a similar idea we thought we could bring our expertise together to provide a unique space with trained staff to help men who are struggling.”

The Cornermen are initially launching a Crowdfunding appeal, starting Monday 13th June and running for a month to raise £15,000 to launch the service. Once up and running they hope to be able to get further funding to expand the service rapidly.

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Suicide is the leading cause of death of men under 50, and the Cornermen’s aim is to make a difference in our local community.