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Fife men’s mental health movement is growing – and helping local kids too

Pete and group member Christopher Daniel Rodger are joined by STAR farm resident Floppsy.
Pete and group member Christopher Daniel Rodger are joined by STAR farm resident Floppsy.

One man’s dream to start a movement to help others talk about their mental health is gathering momentum.

Pete’s Man Chat Movement offers an open door for men to talk informally to others and share mental health concerns.

Set up by Pete Melville, it has groups running at Linton Lane Centre in Kirkcaldy and in other venues in the Kingdom.

Now Nourish, another Kirkcaldy charity, has plans to start a group using Pete’s simple but effective format to help men from families who have additional support needs.

And one of Pete’s group members is also about to start his own walking group too.

Pete says: “I always hoped when I started the groups that it would become a movement and it’s great to be expanding.

Pete Melville launched Pete’s Man Chat Movement a year ago.

“I  knew there must be something I could do about the issue of men’s mental health. For me it’s very basic – it’s as simple as giving men a place where they can talk about what is on their mind.”

Group members also volunteered to help Siblings Reunited (STAR) spruce up their outdoor play area and garden, along with Karen Morrison who runs the charity near Cupar.

STAR reunites brothers and sisters separated in the care system through adoption or kinship care by providing the opportunity for quality and regular contact.

Run from its unique farmland setting, it provides a place for children to build emotional bonds and help overcome the trauma associated with being separated from their siblings in a natural, calming and fun environment.

Pete’s Man Chat members helped spruce up outdoor areas at STAR.

Pete said everyone had enjoyed giving something back.

“It was such a great sense of achievement and the bairns will all love it when they come in for their visits.

“Everyone was speechless and fascinated when they got there. It’s a beautiful place, amazing.”

Pete has been a volunteer at STAR for eight years.

He added: “It’s a very similar concept to Pete’s Man Chat Movement in that Karen keeps it simple. She is a massive inspiration to me and whatever I’m doing, it’s not a patch on Karen.”

Pete Melville is pictured with Karen and Christopher Daniel Rodger.

Karen said she has had to managed the STAR outdoor area by herself because lockdown meant her team of volunteers weren’t able to get back to work until this month.

She said she was thankful for Pete’s group’s efforts and added: “Having them volunteer was a massive help, particularly at this time.

“When Pete mentioned it I jumped at the chance. It’s a win win situation.

“They’re getting out and about, it’s helping us make sure we’re ready for kids coming as well as helping with the upkeep and ensuring it’s safe.”

Karen welcomed Pete and his group members to help her.

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