THE CRAVEN Trust is helping a Cross Hills support group spread the word about its work.

The £300 grant to Talk & Thrive, which runs fortnightly sessions for local men with mental health issues, will pay for a laptop and leaflets.

The group is among several that are this month sharing in £10,100 of grants from the Craven and Beamsley Trusts, which welcome funding applications from groups across Keighley and South Craven.

Rowena Garton said Talk & Thrive offered a safe, friendly, non-judgemental environment for men to share their problems, as well as offering advice and signposting to other relevant organisations.

She said: "After receiving initial support from local businesses, Talk & Thrive found that there was a real need for their services and increased the frequency of their meetings from monthly to fortnightly.

"The group asked for help from the Craven Trust to pay for the cost of printing more leaflets, a laptop and two thermal jugs. They were awarded £300 to pay for these items."

Grants were also given across the Craven area to support a bowling club, orchestral society, community buildings and Scouts. Throughout the entire Craven Trust area, five local families and individuals were supported to a total cost of £2,600.

Visit or call 07954 803327 to apply for a grant or to make a donation towards local projects.

Talk & Thrive was set up by Jimmy Vaughan and Andrew Williams at Crosshills Social Club to allow men to chat about their concerns and help each other.

The proof so successful that last month Talk&Thrive sessions was set up for women at the Wellbeing Lounge in Keighley and for men at the Clubhouse Coffee and Cycles in Skipton.

Visit the Facebook page EMPS - Empowering Survivors or email emps.empoweringsur

Jimmy and Andrew set up a Facebook group about five years ago entitled EMPS Empowering Survivors, for people who had been abused as children. This eventually led to a face-to-face group for members to meet, with help from another local man, John Bailey.

Jimmy said: “From there it has grown in leaps and bounds. We were asked through Anita at the Crosshills Social Club to open a men’s mental health support group. Our group in Cross Hills became so successful that we were asked to start a female Talk&Thrive.

“Coffee and tea will be served for free and let’s hope it does well, as we all know it’s needed badly.

“We’ll also be opening a Keighley Talk&Thrive men’s group in the near future.”

The female Talk & Thrive will begin on Thursday February 27 from 7pm to 9pm at the Wellbeing Lounge on East Parade, Keighley. It will be run by yoga teacher Sarah Jane Fortune – who owns the venue – reflexologist and holistic therapist Sharon Thomas, and Louise Blackwell who is assistant solicitor with experience of domestic violence cases.

Talk & Thrive is held fortnightly in Cross Hills Social Club, Main Street, on Tuesdays from 7.30pm to 9pm.

The Talk&Thrive in Skipton started this month at the Clubhouse Coffee and Cycles, Newmarket Street, and will be held on one Thursday each month from 7.30pm to 9pm. Jimmy and Andrew present a live podcast every Monday afternoon through the Facebook page.