Members of a men's mental health group met with Blackburn Rovers players and also got to a tour of the senior training centre.

The Men in Sheds group, which is run by the Rovers' Community Trust, watched the first team prepare for their Championship match at home against Preston North End.

They also had a Q&A session with Rovers’ star Tyrhys Dolan, with the discussion focussing on mental health and well-being.

Tyrhys spoke about the challenges he has faced in his life, following the passing of his best friend Jeremy Wisten in 2020.

Likewise, the Men in Sheds group shared their own experiences of how they have lost somebody close to them, and how it had an impact on their mental health.

The Men in Sheds project is run in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Council, with the aim of supporting men in our community to discuss their mental health and develop new skills in a safe environment. 

The group has 20 plus members signed up, and they all meet up on a weekly basis, and have developed close friendships courtesy of the programme.

In 2022, Men in Sheds won the Health and Wellbeing Award at the Community Volunteer Awards at King George’s Hall.

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Bharat Parmar, who regularly attends in the Men in Sheds programme, said: “It was nice to speak to a professional footballer about what he has gone through and it is not easy to talk about.

“Tyrhys is only 21 years old and being able to talk about what he has gone through, and he is like an ambassador now to raise awareness, it is fantastic what he does.

“It is great for the Men in Sheds group to be involved with this visit to the Senior Training Centre. Unless people talk about mental health, it will never go any further, so it is important we do talk.”

Each year, on the 19 November, International Men’s Day celebrates worldwide the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities.

The purpose for International Men’s Day is to also raise awareness for the multiple issues that men face.

Ilyas Patel  runs the Men in Sheds programme. He said: “It was a privilege to have the opportunity to visit the senior training ground last week and be able to watch the players train. 

“The group absolutely loved it and were so excited to have their shirts signed and to get to meet the players.

"Meeting with Tyrhys Dolan and him talking about his struggles was inspirational and really helpful to the group.”

To find out more about our Men in Sheds programme you can email 

For any urgent needs, please call Samaritans, who are open 24 hours, seven days a week. Please call 116 123.