John and Lyndsey first met in 2001 at the age of 16 at a rugby club in London called Mill Hill, a club which they both played for. In 2002 they moved to Scotland where they got married and had two daughters.
In 2006 Lyndsey started to experience bad mental health, mainly anxiety and panic attacks. In fact, it was so bad that for 18 months Lyndsey didn’t leave the house. With such a young family Lyndsey wanted to contribute to the household but her mental health would never let her stay at one job for very long. At one-point John was working three jobs to support the family and Lyndsey did what she could.
However, still eager to also provide for the family Lyndsey and John in 2014 set up BelMeg Bespoke LTD – a business specialising in embroidery and clothing supplies. Delivering a top-quality service to local and worldwide customers. The business was set up in their home so Lyndsey could work at a pace she required. The business has grown year on year since established, Lyndsey runs it full time and John helps out part time while he works up the “career ladder” and is currently head of operations at a large manufacturing business in the North East of Scotland.
Having just celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary John and Lyndsey still play rugby, in fact in their previous club they were the men’s and ladies Captains. Their focus now is on a brand-new club in Turriff, Aberdeenshire which together with the help of like-minded people they have newly created. They plan to continue to build the club and coach and play.
The relationship with LooseHeadz first started in 2018. Sadly in 2016 Lyndsey’s sister suddenly passed away and Lyndsey’s mental health took a turn for the worse. She started experiencing acute anxiety which was completely different from her generalised anxiety. This meant she couldn’t get out of bed for 20 weeks; she lost her hair and was extremely ill. Lyndsey got the help she needed and in fact the first time she left the house was to go and play rugby with her team. The game had already started but she didn’t want to miss playing with her team and so she got down there for the second half.
During her recovery Lyndsey used the help of a couple of mental health charities and so she wanted to give back and organised a ‘charity 7s touch tournament’. She contacted organisations to promote the event and was even invited with her family to go down to Murrayfield to meet the men’s Scotland squad after their match. One of the organisations Lyndsey contacted was LooseHeadz, which after hearing her story wrote an article about Lyndsey and why she was putting on this tournament. It was actually never discussed then what Lyndsey did for a living but as a thank you she sent them some LooseHeadz embroidered hats and things moved from there.
LooseHeadz had found a rugby loving family with a very successful business who know first hand about the struggles of mental health. John and Lyndsey’s first-hand experience of the difficulties and stigma surrounding mental health and also how the “big family of rugby” have supported, improved and understood.
We can support and promote this worthwhile venture so more people can talk, get support and remove the stigma around mental health not only in the rugby community but in general life.