FIT Ayrshire dads are gearing up to take part in the Great Scottish Run.

Founder member Kevin Brown, who set up the Fit Ayrshire Dads (FADS) Facebook group in August 2018, will be joining other group members on September 29 as the sponsors urge others to raise funds for Mental Health UK.

Lloyds Banking Group’s partnership with the charity aims to promote the vital work Mental Health UK is doing to tackle a range of mental health challenges faced by communities’ right across the UK, including communities around Scotland.

Training for the event, which takes place on Sunday, September 29, is also a good way to commit to regular activity to help manage your own mental health and wellbeing.

Kevin’s Fit Ayrshire Dad’s group now has over 2,500 members and regularly sees a couple of hundred men actively taking part in different sports each week, with many more using the page as motivation and inspiration.

After making the decision to get fit and healthy himself, Kevin saw the difference the changes had made to his own mental health and the benefits to his family. He knew there would be many men out there who were in a similar position and wanted to create a safe place to help them to start their own journeys to better physical and mental health.

Kevin said: “We arrange lots of group activities most nights of the week and every weekend. This is done on the page by the guys, and can be runs, swimming, hill walking, badminton, cycling and many more.

“One of our most popular activities is a walk and talk session where the guys can meet up and go for a good walk, chat about their day, struggles, frustrations , whatever they want, just a chance to clear the head of everyday life.

“I was aware when I made the page of high suicide rates amongst men in Ayrshire and was determined to bring a halt to that. Through the page I encourage men not to bottle things up and the members to support one another. We have members, who many would never suspect suffer with ongoing mental health issues, just everyday men who now openly admit the page has saved their life.

“I encourage the men to believe in themselves, to aspire to achieve things. The endorphins they get from the training and the events they sign up to makes them feel good and believe they can do even more.

“It’s part of their evolution from being unhappy within themselves to being the best they can be for them and their families. The sense of pride they share their first five or 10k, get that PB time, or climb a Munro is amazing to see and I encourage them to keep pushing the boundaries and believing they are capable of even more.”

Kevin keeps the rules of the FADS group simple, he explained: “No negativity, only support and encouragement. and my friends who help with the admin and I make sure we moderate the page so that this is upheld. The page is so strong now, if a guy tonight was to post that he is struggling with something, he can have over 100 comments from different FADS offering help, support, go for a coffee and these are strangers. It’s amazing to see.

“Our range of guys goes from around 20 years old to pensioners, from obese to cancer survivors. We help all men from all walks of life.”

To sign up to the event and for information please visit