The Top Blokes Foundation has helped to improve the mental health and wellbeing of dozens of young men in Cessnock over the past four years through its Mentoring Program.

The preventative, evidence-based program has been delivered at Mount View and Kurri Kurri High Schools since 2020, and was able to run at Cessnock High School for the first time in 2023 – thanks to a $4,267 grant from Cessnock Leagues Club.

Conducted by qualified youth workers, the six-month program is focused on improving the mental health of males aged 14-17 by increasing resilience, empathy and respect for self and others.

Top Blokes Foundation NSW state manager Daniel Allars said the participants from Cessnock High School (pictured above) absorbed valuable lessons through last year’s program, highlighting their resilience and capacity for growth.

Among the feedback provided, participants said the mentoring program helped them to cope with big decisions in life, speak to people openly, be more confident, and to gain a better understanding of diverse communities and issues such as racism.

Mr Allars said the funding from Cessnock Leagues Club under the ClubGRANTS scheme has been instrumental to the success of the mentoring program and its ability to reach so many participants across the Cessnock region.

“The support we received from Cessnock Leagues Club has meant we are able continue our relationship with Cessnock High School and embed our programs so that we have a long-term impact in the area,” he said.

“We are continuing to build our presence in the region and in 2024 we hope to be in all primary and high schools in Cessnock.

“We also hope to make Top Blokes Mentoring Programs one of the key young men’s mental health programs across Cessnock. Our school partners have indicated a need to continue the Top Blokes programs to support their new cohorts of male students.”

Cessnock Leagues Club CEO Paul Cousins said the Club’s support for the Top Blokes Foundation is a testament to its dedication to social responsibility and community development.

“This funding enabled the Top Blokes Foundation to deliver its valuable work in mentoring young men, fostering their mental wellbeing, and empowering them to become responsible and confident individuals,” Mr Cousins said.

“By facilitating such contributions, the ClubGRANTS scheme plays a crucial role in strengthening local services and support systems, thereby enhancing the quality of life within the community.”

Applications for the Cessnock LGA ClubGRANTS 2024 Fund are now open, closing May 31, 2024. Charities and organisations that deliver community welfare and social services in the Cessnock LGA are welcome to apply. Find out more at

If you or someone you know needs support, phone:

  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • Mensline 1300 789 978
  • Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
  • beyondblue 1300 224 636
  • 1800-RESPECT 1800 737 732