The Gratitude Games, Launches to Support the Mental Health of Emergency Service and NHS Workers


The Gratitude Games, Launches to Support the Mental Health of Emergency Service and NHS Workers

The Gratitude Games, a new sporting event to support the mental health of emergency service and NHS workers is calling on the British public and businesses to donate to their fundraising appeal.

1 in 4 (27%) emergency service workers have considered ending their lives due to stress and other factors , and this has only been amplified by the pandemic, with 69%  reporting that their mental health has worsened since the start of Covid-19. 

The first Gratitude Games will be hosted by the Cities of Manchester and Salford from 27th April – 29th May 2022 at leading venues, including the iconic Etihad campus. The Games will unite over 20,000 Emergency Responders and their families, across 20 different sports. From the whole of the NHS and the Fire and Rescue Service, to RNLI and Cave Rescue, workers from 17 different Emergency Services will be able to take part. The event will be open to all sporting abilities, and the triathlon and road running events (including a 5k and 10k), will also be open to the public. 

The funds raised will be deployed through four existing specialist organisations – Police Care UK, The Fire Fighters Charity, The Ambulance Staff Charity and Duty to Care (NHS) - who collectively support all emergency responders to improve their mental health. Duty to Care, for example, provides NHS workers with free one to one online consultations. This is followed by wellbeing support including coaching, yoga and other holistic interventions. 

The Gratitude Games is the brainchild of serving Buckinghamshire fire fighter Mike Downard and sports industry veteran Simon Rider, who founded the charity UK Emergency Services Giving (UKESG) to help ensure every Emergency Responder has access to the tailored mental health support they need.

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