The cornermen is a men’s mental health and suicide prevention charity set up by John Houston and Steve James.

The service (based in South Moreton, Oxfordshire) aims to provide access for men struggling with their mental health. Steve James said, “It came to light as it was an idea of mine towards the end of last year”. The charity aims to rebuild and reconnect the local community. “The idea for the name the Cornermen is that like in boxing we offer support from the corner but the person who comes in does the hard work themselves”. The cornermen offers self-referral so men who feel like they want to use the service are able to without a problem.

When asked about what the cornermen does for men struggling, Steve said “We pick them up and bring them over for an appointment where they can do some weights, pads, go for a coffee or a walk”. This offers a conversation in a relaxed and unpressured way.  Steve feels it is “important that we are full time, we are flexible and mobile so that we can accommodate to a person’s life, and we are non-judgmental and keep things simple.”

In July the charity launched a 30 day Fundraising appeal and raised over £11,000 so was able to start the service from November. Local MP David Johnston is also supporting the project and supporting the charity.  They now aim to continue with the project and Steve says “We would like to expand and have volunteers as well as build a network of support within the service “are the aims going forward. Another aim for the service would be to do work with younger men aged 15-18 as well as make a women’s service.