Mental health champions to play charity football matches to raise awareness
Written by Ewan Gleadow on 29th September 2021
A team of mental health champions will be lacing up their football boots as they take part in a series of special events geared at raising awareness and minimising stigma.
Made up of staff and officers, the Northumbria Police football team will be shooting for success as they face teams from two local charities – The Bradley Lowery Foundation and The Scott Bell Fund.
The matches aim to bring in much-needed donations for the charitable organisations that look after those at their lowest ebb.
It’s also hoped the games will generate more awareness and create a discussion about how and where people can access bespoke support, as well as eradicating shame and stigma which can often surround mental health.
Organiser PC John Boddy, who works for the Force’s Motor Patrols department, said: “We have a number of important fixtures coming up which will help us continue the conversation about the importance of keeping yourself healthy.”
“We recently played the team from If U Care Share in Hebburn and even though we lost 6-4, it was a great event in which we are able to show our support for a very important and worthwhile service, while playing a game we love.”
“As a team, we’ve made great strides over the years to recognise the challenges and difficulties men can face and worked hard to make sure our players, their colleagues and their families know that suffering in silence is not OK and support is available.”
“Since our team was reformed in 2016 we’ve been championing mental health as it’s never been more important to stay fit and health in every sense.”
On October 1, the team will host The Bradley Lowrey Foundation in an 11 a-side game at 3pm, followed by their first-ever five-a-side tournament at 5.30pm to raise funds for both the foundation and The Scott Bell Fund, in association with the Foundation of Light and the Newcastle United Foundation.
Then, on October 18, the team will once again pay tribute to the late detective Cameron Scarratt by taking part in the annual tournament created in his memory.
The second clash for the Cameron Scarratt Trophy will be played at Nissan where the team take on Sunderland University.
Spectators are welcome at all the team’s events and are asked to make a charitable donation on entry.