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Soccer teams’ NHS donation a winner for mental wellbeing

9 Jan 2019

‘Rival’ cricket and football players from Coalville have united in a charity soccer match to raise £600 for a local NHS mental health team.

The players from Broomleys FC and Broomleys Cricket Club donated half the proceeds from a festive friendly to Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust’s (LPT) North West County Adult Community Mental Health Team.

The team, based at The Hawthorn Centre on the site of Coalville Community Hospital, provides treatment and support for adults with a range of mental health needs, ranging from anxiety and depression to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

The fund-raising match was the idea of Broomleys FC founder Matthew Clarke, who is also a long-time member of the cricket club.

He said: “The club is only a year old and a charity match was the perfect way to end our first season. We all agreed it was important to give back to a local service and mental health is close to my heart and to others in the football team, who include a number of my fellow cricketers from Broomleys CC.”

Club members talk openly on their Facebook page about mental health issues and Matthew added: “Mental health has been in the spotlight more and more in recent times, and for good reason”.

“The players and their friends and families really rose to the challenge to support our first charity event and we raised a total of £1,203, half of which will be used for the club, including new kit. We now will endeavour to make this an annual event and continue to support the service.”

The money will be used by the team of specialist nurses, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, social workers and psychologists to enhance patient care beyond the service they are commissioned to provide.

Team manager Janine Hammersley said “It was a lovely surprise to be included as beneficiaries in this fundraising event. The amount raised by the teams and the generosity of people has been fantastic and we are grateful and humbled by this thoughtful gesture. The staff at the Hawthorn Centre are dedicated to providing care for 900 people across North West Leicestershire. This includes assessments and treatment plans which are focused on recovery, enhancing wellbeing and people’s potential. Activities such as sports and involvement in community pursuits which this club represents are a fantastic way to enhance health and wellbeing.”

“We don’t know yet how the money will be spent,  we will be asking patients and staff how they would like us to use it and making sure it benefits patients. I would like to personally thank our receptionist Anna Sheppard who represented our team on the day and to the club members and supporters for their kind generosity.”

Anna went down to the Hermitage Recreation Ground in Whitwick at the end of the match – a 5-4 victory for the cricketers – to say a personal thank you to the soccer teams.

She said: “We were surprised and delighted when the club got in touch to tell us what they had planned. We are so grateful, what a wonderful gesture.”  

LPT’s fundraising manager, Lindsay Woodward, added: “It’s wonderful that so many sports players now are talking about mental health and this donation from the Broomleys teams is doubly welcome because it’s not just allowing us to add something more to the service we provide, it’s also helping us to break down barriers around mental health.”