Movember backs “The Changing Room”

2nd March 2020

Movember selects SAMH to scale “The Changing Room” program in next phase of global Social Innovators Challenge.

The Changing Room is one of only six Social Innovators Challenge projects globally to advance to this phase of the program and receive additional funding on behalf of Movember

SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) & Movember are excited to announce Scottish program, The Changing Room as one of six projects selected to receive further funding as the final phase of global Movember grant initiative, the Social Innovators Challenge. The Changing Room, along with the other five initiatives (of which, three are based in the UK and one in Australia) will each receive a share of a further £1.78M investment with the expectation of scaling and broadening the scope of each program.

The Changing Room has been funded as part of the Social Innovators Challenge since 2017. The Social Innovators Challenge was designed to enable Movember to fund active programming aimed at encouraging men to build positive relationships and increase levels of social connectedness. In 2015, Movember initiated a challenge across major markets, calling for innovative ideas that would result in game-changing programs aimed at increasing the quantity and quality of men’s relationships and mental wellbeing. 

“We know that once we hit our 30s, men generally aren’t as attentive to our social relationships as we should be,” says Brendan Maher, Global Director, Mental Health & Suicide Prevention. “This can have far-reaching consequences because we know that strong social connections are a key protective factor for men against anxiety, depression and potentially suicide. Movember’s Social Innovators Challenge has allowed us to uncover, nurture and develop fresh ideas like The Changing Room to keep men connected. This exciting next phase will build upon the critical evidence and success of some of our most promising initiatives.”

In 2017, The Changing Room was one of only 12 projects selected globally to pilot over a two-year period. Now, SAMH  is one of only six to receive further funding for demonstrating positive results and impact.

The Changing Room is bringing together men in their middle years (aged 30-64) with one goal – to promote men’s mental health and wellbeing through the power of the beautiful game. It has been running at Hibs and Hearts Football Clubs in Edinburgh since 2017.

Robert Nesbitt, Head of Physical Activity and Sport said:

“We’re delighted that Movember has chosen The Changing Room to receive further funding through the Social Innovators Challenge.

“In Scotland, men are two-and-a-half times more likely to die by suicide. We need men to open up, and The Changing Room provides them with a strong support network in a welcoming and familiar environment – men who otherwise might not talk about their feelings, or have anywhere to turn when they’re struggling.

“Through The Changing Room at Hearts and Hibs we’ve already supported over 100 men, and we look forward to supporting many more in the next exciting stage of this project.”