The Prime Minister’s Points of Light award: West Sussex charity for men’s mental health named today’s winner

A West Sussex charity set up last year to encourage men to open up by walking and talking has been named the UK’s 1,685th Point of Light, as today’s winner of the Prime Minister’s daily award recognising outstanding volunteers.

MenWalkTalk was founded by 27-year-old Matthew Pollard from Littlehampton to support men’s mental and physical wellbeing through exercise and open conversations.

He was thrilled to receive a call from the Prime Minister’s Office at 10 Downing Street announcing the charity as the winner of the Points of Light award for July 15.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Matt said: “I am so, so surprised and grateful to receive this recognition from the Prime Minister. The recognition isn’t all about my work, I have to give credit to the core group of guys who have made MenWalkTalk the welcoming community, offering peer support for any newcomer, what it is from the start and to my team of trusted volunteers who have helped establish and grow a bigger group offer across the UK.

MenWalkTalk founder Matthew Pollard, left, and ambassador David Tag were delighted to learn the Littlehampton-based charity has been chosen as today's Points of Light award winner

“A huge thank you must go to our ambassadors David Tag and Dan Westwood, who regularly get involved and support us in raising awareness of the MenWalkTalk offer and events.

“I hope that this point of light recognition reaffirms to any guy reading this that it’s okay to talk, there will always be someone prepared to listen and however scary it may feel, you are welcome to join us online or in person. When in doubt, walk it out.”

Boris Johnson will be writing to Matt personally to thank him for his work and MenWalkTalk will be receiving a certificate.

After experiencing his own mental health difficulties, Matthew founded MenWalkTalk to inspire other men to improve their physical wellbeing and mental wellbeing by walking outside in the fresh air and talking through their issues.

His walking groups have been attended by hundreds of men in the area and with the charity now rolling out across the UK, Matthew is hoping to encourage other men to create their own peer-led support groups around the country.