We’re pleased to announce that we’ve recently welcomed Mark Kelly, our new National Peer Support Coordinator to the team.
Mark, will be such an important member of Tackle and will be the lead in strengthening relations with existing support groups as well as supporting those who wish to start their own support groups.
Want to get to know Mark a little better? Read on 👇🏽
Where will you be based for the National Peer Support Coordinator role?
I’ll be based at home, in Otley, West Yorkshire. It’s great working remotely as I can be more flexible when it comes to meeting people.
What attracted you to the role and to join the Tackle team?
So, generally speaking, men struggle to talk about their health whether that be through embarrassment or the typical man’s image of ‘you can’t show emotion or feelings’. After my mental health breakdown five years ago, I have become a Mental Health Champion and Advocate. Wanting to give the voice back to men that “It’s okay to talk.”
Through my working experience I have helped promote and work with men’s peer support groups to help
(A) Letting people know that support groups are available
(B) That they are a place where you can talk in a safe and non-judgmental environment
I haven’t worked with a prostate cancer charity before and felt that it was another health issue that needs to get spoken about more. With my mental health work, I can see there being huge crossovers,
What are you looking forward to the most?
I’m looking forward to meeting the groups and seeing how we can help give people in each area a voice and access support. It will be brilliant to help people set up a group in the places that are in need of one.
What does peer support mean to you?
Peer support is really simple, it is what it says on the tin. You should be able to go through a door into a support group and be welcomed. Knowing that you are going to be able to gain support from your peers who have the same or similar experience.
A key part to peer support is that all groups should have the same ethos, that being welcoming, friendly and most importantly non-Judgmental. People are getting diagnosed with prostate cancer younger and I suppose it’s about recognising this and adapting the group so that everybody feel included.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
So in my spare time I train and compete in Strongman. I train 7 days a week. Spending a good 2 hours a day in the gym. Even more in the build up to competitions. The last comp I did was a month ago and I won.
I’m booked to pull a Fire engine on the 19th of November and will be raising money for Tackle.
I’m a big believer that men should be able to talk about their feelings and I make a point of saying to people that if they ever want to chat, come find me, whether I’m in the gym or not. If you want to take a look at what i do then @marksstrongmanjourney
What’s your favourite motivational quote?
I have two favourite quotes
“it is what it is”
“ I would rather hear your story, than read your obituary.”
Both meaning, that my phone is always on.
If you’d like to set up a meeting with Mark, do get in touch with him at email@example.com, or alternatively find your nearest support group by visiting the link here.
Through our national network of support groups, we aim to unite, guide and hero those living with or affected by prostate cancer. Find out more about us by following our socials