Football gameA football tournament is being set up by a group of apprentices working on the Healthy Minds programme on Saturday 12 March, for anyone aged 16 and over from 11.30am to 2pm at Goals Bradford, 282 Kings Road, Bradford, BD2 1JP.

The tournament, which was due to take place last year in November but was cancelled due to the bad weather and is now taking place in March, will look to raise money for three charities – Mind in Bradford, Yorkshire Mesmac, and Refuge for women and children (providing specialist support to survivors of domestic abuse). People can take part as an organisation, group of friends or individuals who will be placed into a team. All participating teams will be encouraged to make a voluntary donation, which will go to the three charities.

The Healthy Minds apprentices, a group of young people who educate children and young people to look after their mental health and how to access support by visiting the Healthy Minds website (run by the local NHS, Mind in Bradford and Bradford Council under the Act as One health and care partnership for Bradford District and Craven) have arranged this tournament giving an opportunity for all communities across the district to come together for a good cause. The Healthy Minds programme aims to bring together mental health services that serve people across the district and to help people understand how they can access support that closely meets their needs.

George, Healthy Minds Apprentice, said: “We’re really excited about the tournament and all of the Healthy Minds apprentices are looking forward to this. The tournament was originally planned for last year in November but due to bad weather we had to postpone this and have been able to re-arrange this for March.

“We’re keen on doing things differently, so that we reach out to all of our communities in different ways and do things which will have a positive impact on people’s mental health. Sport is a universal language, holding a football tournament is a great way to bring people together and kick out any discrimination and stigma.”

Ali, Healthy Minds Apprentice, said: “The pandemic has shown us how different communities can really come together and support one another. Having the tournament is another great way of showing how different communities across the district can come together to support a great cause. Every goal scored on the day by both teams will be totalled up at the end of the event, each goal scored will be equivalent to one pound, then doubled and donated equally to all three charities.”

David Sims, Medical Director at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust and Senior Responsible Officer for the Act as One Children and Young People programme, said: “It’s great to see the Healthy Minds apprentices using sport as a positive force for good, to bring together communities across Bradford District and Craven for a good cause. It’s good to see the determination of the apprentices on re-arranging the charity football tournament for March which was originally planned for November last year.

“I’d really encourage people from our communities to attend, even if you don’t want to take part in the tournament you can watch the different matches or visit the information stalls on the day. The tournament is a great opportunity to meet new people and get some fresh air, which is always a positive for your mental wellbeing.”

Bibs will be provided for teams, but you will need to bring your own boots and shin pads, and time slots will be allocated to teams and all teams need to show up at 11.30am.

Here’s a short video clip which has been put together by two of the apprentices, George and Ali who talk about the tournament

To take part and sign up please email george@healthyminds.servies by Wednesday 9 March.