Footballers from Dumbarton A.F.C. have donated half of their club’s fundraising to Men Matter, after team mates recognised the efforts the charity make to support men’s mental health.

The mental health hub, serving men from Drumchapel, West Dunbartonshire and Greater Glasgow, has grown by 600 percent since March, the club’s Fraser Devine told the Post.

Players at the Dumbarton club climbed Ben Lomond twice in one day, taking a total of eight hours, in a bid to raise funds which they divided equally between the club and Men Matter.

A JustGiving page was set up for supporters to donate towards the team, which raised £3,269.

Michael Dickie, Manager at the Accies, commented that he hoped it would go some way to support the hub in Drumchapel.

He said: “The club put it out to the players to decide who we would support, we needed to fundraise for the club but we also wanted to support a community project.

“Despite the hub being in Drumchapel, the boys were keen to support them as they know about the amazing work they do and I know there have been lads at the club who struggled through lockdown and see the benefits this charity can bring.

Dumbarton’s Accies has players ranging from as young as 18-years-old to mid 30s.

Michael continued: “When we decided to climb Ben Lomond twice in one day, I wasn’t sure they would actually be so keen when their day came but in honesty, I totally underestimated their enthusiasm as they were right up for it.

“Knowing they were doing it as part of something bigger, the impact the money would have and the sense that they are supporting other men, it really helped motivate them.

“I know for a certainty there are boys in the team who had a rough time with lockdown, the impact sports has is not only physical but also socially, mentally, being part of something bigger and having those informal conversations allows for you to free up space in your head.

“ I am amazed at the work the lads at Men Matter do and I’m so happy to be able to support them in any small way the club can.”

Fraser commented that the money would be a ‘massive help, every pound counts’.

Fraser, a Drumchapel local and co-founder of Men Matter said: “They money helps provide bus fares, breakfast, leckie (Gas) if someone is out, hub resources, it all comes out the one pot and no donation is too small. Lads come here when they are in a crisis and all we want to do is help.

“Lockdown has seen us go from 150 members to 600 plus. What was a local suicide prevention and mental health project is now receiving calls from lads in Pollockshaws, Easterhouse, Dumbarton, Helensburgh - we had a family donate from Aberdeen after their son passed and they wanted to support a charity who were making a difference at a grassroots level.”

Despite the hub closing for several weeks during lockdown, Men Matter continued to offer crisis support, food parcels, referrals to other support services and latterly, outdoor sports and activities.

The club will be using some of the funds to carry out ASSIST and mental health first aid training to ensure volunteers at the service are equipped to support all members.