Bristol students launch The Grieving Pint charity supporting men's mental health

Two students in Bristol have founded a charity to brew up conversation on men's mental health.

Ben Mason and Alex Barnham are second year students at the University of Bristol.

Both of them experienced loss last year and said that it was only through good conversation and sharing emotionsa that they began to heal.

This inspired them to set up The Grieving Pint, an independent charity which brings young men together over a pint to discuss mental health and wellbeing.

The charity has partnered with The Left Handed Giant Brewpub in the city centre where each session takes place.

Alex Barnham and Ben Mason are the founders of The Grieving Pint.

Alex said: "I lost a very dear friend of mine to cancer, he went through a year and a half battle and sadly we lost him.

"It was something that I struggled with for a very long time and it was through conversation with Ben that I sort of started to feel a bit better about myself.

"So we just thought it was a great idea to share with other people."

In February 2022, Ben's mother died unexpectedly from an aneurysm. He said his friends were so supportive and he was never made to feel alone.

"I would hate to have a guy who went through something I went through, feel helpless. It's never right to feel helpless and tragically I know people who have gone through things like that and they chose not to carry on," Ben said.

He explained that The Grieving Pint is about breaking down barriers for men to talk about their feelings in an open and relaxed setting.

The Grieving Pint has partnered with the independent brewpub, The Left Handed Giant.

The charity launched on 18 April and 40 people came along to the first session.

At the third session on 16 May, one attendee said: "It's in a pub so it's very relaxed. You can just rock up, wear what you want, speak to who you want.

"I've even made friends no and play tennis with some of then. It's great."

Another said: "Before I came I was a bit apprehensive and bit nervous. But since coming here, it's been brilliant.

The group also tries to turn grief's relationship with alcohol on its head. Alex and Ben hope their meetings encourage a collective and responsible form of drinking instead of drinking alone.

Stuart Lee, also a student, has been to all three sessions so far. He said: "I recently lost both of my grandparents and it's something I've had trouble talking about.

"I thought this would be a really good opportunity to meet new people, which it has. It's been very therapeutic."

Ben and Alex hope to expand The Grieving Pint across the UK, particularly other big student cities like Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester.

They are looking to partner with other independent pubs who are interested in supporting men's mental health charities.

For more information on The Grieving Pint click here.