05 April 2019

Broadchurch actor visits sporting group for people with mental health difficulties

Bristol-born actor Joe Sims, who is best known for his role in the hit television drama, Broadchurch, met members of a football group, which has been set up to help people with mental health difficulties.

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Joe, who has also appeared in Red Dwarf, Britannia and Free Rein, met staff and service users from Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust, who attend the weekly Recovery Through Sport football sessions, in the Frenchay area of Bristol, on Thursday 4 April.

As well as joining in the coaching session, which is run by the Early Intervention in Psychosis team from AWP, Joe talked to service users attending the session about his own experience of living with mental health difficulties.

Mental Health Worker, Jacob Kelly, who set up the sessions, said: "We are delighted that Joe has agreed to come along to one of the Recovery Through Sport sessions. Joe has previously spoken openly about his own experience with mental health and we hope the service users who attend our sessions will be inspired to continue their journey towards recovery and to live their best lives.

"Many of the service users who attend the weekly sessions have been left feeling isolated and alone as a result of the stigma attached to many mental health conditions, but after attending our sessions for a couple of weeks we start to see them become more confident, develop friendships and begin to take back control of their lives."

Chief Executive for Bristol Rovers Community Trust, Adam Tutton, said: "As a well-known Bristol City fan, we were delighted that Joe was happy to join the session and promote the idea that mental health has no colours."

Joe said: "Mental well-being transcends footballing rivalries so blue or red I'm only too happy to support any initiative that helps people see and experience the huge benefits of sport, exercise, teamwork and friendship when dealing with our own mental health."

The Recovery Through Sport Programme is run by staff from AWP and supported by the Bristol Rovers Community Trust. It is a free weekly football coaching session for adults with mental health difficulties, and aims to improve their mental and physical health through sport and exercise.

The sessions take place every Thursday between 3pm and 4.30pm at Shaftesbury Park, Frenchay, Bristol, BS16 1LG. For more information call 07785 342 192.


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