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Rotherham man organises football fundraiser to thank caring NHS staff

A big-hearted Rotherham man who has battled years of mental health illness has organised a football fundraiser to thank NHS staff who have helped him on the road to recovery.

Jamie Concannon, 31, from Swinton, has been in a revolving door of in-patient care since being diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder five years ago. His condition has led to him receiving care on occasions at Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber Foundations Trust’s (RDaSH) Swallownest Court hospital, near Sheffield.

But at long last he can see light at the end of the tunnel as, since leaving hospital in January this year, he’s feeling much better and now moving forward with his life.

Jamie said: “It has been a struggle, nobody really understands what mental health illness is like until it strikes and it could affect anybody at any time. I’ve spent a lot of time in a hospital A&E department waiting to be seen and the people who have really looked after me throughout those difficult times have been the RDaSH Crisis and Home Treatment Team, based at Swallownest Court. They have been fantastic.

“I cannot thank them enough but I want to try by raising funds for them through a match between lads from Swinton and Rawmarsh. Friends have rallied round, including Jamie Woodcock, manager of the Rawmarsh side, who is founder of MINDFest, a group that puts on events to raise money for the Mind mental health charity.

“We have around 30 people who want to play, with everyone paying £10 apiece to be in a team. We hope many people will come along to watch and chip in what they can afford, as we’ll be passing a bucket around the crowd during the match.

“It’s my way of giving something back to those who have cared for me and helped me turn my life around.”

Sarah Scott, RDaSH Crisis and Home Treatment Team Manager , said: “It is so kind of Jamie to want to help in this way and we really appreciate his support.

“Mental health problems can be devastating but having the support of family and friends can make all the difference in helping recovery, as in Jamie’s case. Having a conversation about mental illness can be difficult but this is a wonderful example of how having open discussions can not only help on an individual basis but also bring a community closer together.”

  • The match will take place at Swinton Athletic FC’s Park Road ground on Sunday 23 August 2020, starting at 2pm. Entry is free, but please make a donation.