A local artist is gathering key male leaders from Merseyside to take part in a unique wellbeing project that aims to open up conversations around preventing suicide and promoting wellbeing for young men.

Big Love My Brother, is a collaboration between artist Clare Campbell and innovative social organisation, Knowsley Youth Mutual, and follows the success of Big Love Sista programs, which involved more than 100 high-flying females and CEOs including MP Luciana Berger and Morecrofts’ Managing Partner Alison Lobb unite to ‘Stand up for Sistahood’ in March 2015.

Carrying the same core philosophy, the groundbreaking male initiative will kick start during the ‘Lads & Leaders Weekend’ on November 28-29, when all participants will paint a life size self-portrait as a way of sharing their own unique life story.

Clare said: “Our Project Big Love Sista motivated women and girls of all ages to find healing in art through the concept of painting inspirational self-portraits. Three of our women are now at University studying Art degrees, many are running groups in their own communities and lots of the women leaders have been inspired to carry on painting and connecting.

“Often there are certain stigmas and gender stereotypes that surround male mental health and wellbeing. The press is full of devastating stories of suicide. We have to start tackling this in as many ways as possible. We want to establish an environment that allows young men to feel safe, open up, talk to and be inspired by one another and hopefully realise their potential. We will be working with boys aged 10-16 as we believe that early intervention is key.”

The portraits created throughout the weekend will also be exhibited during a high-profile showcase in February 2016.

Chief executives that are also backing the project include Knowsley Youth Mutual, Public Health, Knowsley Council, Merseyside Police, Morecrofts, ADHD Foundation, House of Suarez and Merseyside Community Rehabilitation Company.

Sandra Richardson CEO of Knowsley Youth Mutual added: “It is essential that issues around young men and wellbeing are tackled by the whole community. To help to build understanding between our leaders and young men we will be creating inspiring opportunities to paint, tell stories, network, chill out and even sail on the picturesque lake at our outdoor education centre.

“We look forward sharing the ‘big love’ once again and creating a positive intergenerational new story of hope for Knowsley’s lads and leaders. Let’s try to stop the isolation and despair of many of our young men and start creating a new conversation.”

To sign up contact Clare on 07813920489 or email [email protected]

For more information visit www.biglovemybrother.com