Mental health support and fitness group in memory of Luke

Mental health support and fitness group in memory of Luke

A DANCE school in Heckmondwike has teamed up with the family of a man who took his own life to launch a mental health support and fitness group.

Rachel Walmsley, of charity Timestep Community Dance, and Luke Naylor’s family have set up the free initiative ‘Luke’s Lads’ to help tackle the stigma surrounding mental health.

Luke, the son of Rachel’s best friend, took his own life in July this year after years of battling mental health issues and depression. The 25-year-old from Norristhorpe left behind a one-year-old son and his fiance Laura, his mum Susan, dad Richard and sisters Katie and Jenny.

Now the family are working with Rachel to encourage local men to speak out about their problems. Rachel will run a weekly free 45-minute circuit training session followed by a 30-minute group chat, led by Rachel’s son and Luke’s best friend Elliot Gorman, at her studio in Ponderosa Business Park, starting on Tuesday October 30 (7.30pm).

She said: “The journey Luke had, he battled for quite a long time with mental health and unfortunately didn’t always receive the help he needed, it’s not out there.

“Fitness was a huge thing for Luke, he was a sportsman, excellent at football, rugby, everything he turned his hand to.

“When he was in his darkest times, he would turn to his fitness and do a workout.

“He knew that it would release his endorphins and give him a lift in his mood.

“There’s so many men out there that are desperate for help and they can’t get it. If we can save just one man from going down the route that Luke went down, we would never want any man to go through what Luke went through.”

The fitness session and mental health support chat is aimed at men from around the North Kirklees area of every fitness level – from beginner to experienced.

There are only 20 spaces for the first few sessions, but Rachel and Luke’s family are hoping Luke’s Lads will eventually branch out further.

To book a place on the first session, email lukeslads@gmail.com.

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