A team of service users from the Trust have travelled to Germany to compete in a top European mental health football tournament.
The Yorkshire Creative Minds team was one of two teams representing England in the Regenbogen Cup which featured teams from across Germany, Austria and Slovenia.
The tournament is organised by the European Association for Sport and Social Integration (EASI) and aims to improve mental health wellbeing through sport.
Service users and staff from South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust teamed up and made the trip to Germany to compete in the tournament with support from the Trust’s Creative Minds initiative.
Creative Minds is an initiative run by the Trust that allows local projects to work in partnership with the Trust to provide innovative, creative projects for people to help improve their health and wellbeing.
Mark Wisbey, the Creative Minds co-ordinator at the Trust said “It was great to see staff and service users coming together and blurring the lines between them. We went out to the tournament as a group of individuals, played as team and came back as a family. It’s a great example of how creative approaches such as this one can aid recovery and we are all really proud of what we achieved.”
This is the second time the Trust has supported a team to compete in this international completion and this year progressed all the way to the semi-final.
Craig Mitchell, a community psychiatric nurse at the Trust who accompanied the team said: “The trip to Munich was a really rewarding experience, not only for myself, but for every member of the team. It was great to see the guys grow in confidence each game and they represented the Trust with pride.”
“It seems to be an English tradition to go out in the semi-finals to the Germans but there were so many positives to take from the trip. Bringing people together from different nationalities and challenging stigma together was something we will never forget. Hopefully next year we can go one better and win the tournament!”
Lee is a service user at the Trust and coached the team throughout the tournament, he said: “Being part of the competition really helped with my mental wellbeing. Before I went over there I was in a pretty bad place, but once I was on that pitch, I felt free. I’m currently doing my second FA coaching badge and the teamwork skills I’ve learnt from the trip will really help me going forward.”