Hibs fans' podcast Longbangers aiming to help supporters with mental health concerns
A Hibs supporters’ podcast has announced details of a new initiative aimed at supporting fans of the Easter Road side with mental health concerns.
Longbangers, hosted by Matty Fairnie, has been on the go since 2019 but upped its game during the coronavirus pandemic with fans unable to attend matches.
As well as longer podcasts featuring interviews with players past and present, a dedicated half-hour podcast titled “Quick Bang” for fans to discuss games is recorded after matches to help make up for the lack of social aspect in the current climate, along with the less football-oriented Shortbangers; a show dealing with "everything from The Broons to Batman, to science and art, and everything in between”.
Now the team is turning its attention to mental health. Fairnie’s colleague John Falconer came up with the idea to offer a safe space for Hibs followers who may be feeling low or struggling with their mental health by hosting a private Zoom call for those supporters to have a chat with fellow fans.
Fairnie said: “We get a lot of messages from people about mental health, and we thought it would be good to organise something to get folk together to talk if they’re feeling low or struggling.
"We’re going to put on a Zoom call (not recorded or published) as a wee drop-in. No judgement, no expectations.”
The call is taking place on Friday April 23 at 8pm with those interested invited to send a private message to the account on Twitter for more details, contact the team via Facebook, or email [email protected].
The team is also keen to help solo fans and boost season-ticket sales by offering a “matchmaking” service for supporters. The club has already sold 2,000 season tickets for the 2021/22 season in just 48 hours but Fairnie recognises that some people’s circumstances might have changed.
He added: “There will be many people who would renew but, for various reasons, will not have someone to renew with that they usually go to the games with.”
Fairnie is keen to help connect Hibees who may be in the same boat by pairing up individual supporters who can attend matches together once fans are allowed back in stadiums.
Those keen to be matched up are invited to message the podcast account on Twitter for more details.