Inspired to promote positive mental health, members of the Belfast Solicitors Association (BSA) have challenged their Barrister colleagues to a charity football match in aid of local mental health charity Inspire.
Earlier this week, the team representatives joined their football legend coaches Mal Donaghy and Andy Waterworth at the National Stadium to go through their paces.
Eoghan McKenna, Chair of Belfast Solicitors’ Association, said “It’s a bit overwhelming to be here at the National Stadium today with Manchester United and Linfield legends and we are so grateful to the IFA for their support. We in BSA are committed to raising awareness of mental health issues and helping to break down the stigma that still exists. The football match in October is a great way for us to play a part in this and, whilst ourselves and the Barristers have our eyes firmly on lifting the cup, the real winner has to be the charity and its work to promote positive mental health.”
IFA and Linfield’s Andy Waterworth added “I’ve been supporting Inspire’s work for over a year now and hope that this match will raise awareness especially with young men who can find it difficult to talk about their mental health.”
The IFA’s commitment to supporting mental health and wellbeing was highlighted by former Northern Ireland and Manchester United player Mal Donaghy, "Sport, both played and watched, can have a positive effect in helping people who are perhaps struggling with mental health. It’s important that we play our part and we are delighted to support BSA and Inspire in their preparation for this match. The Barrister’s team captain, Michael Ward, is an ex Leeds United player so we’ll not be going easy on them in training!.”
Nuala Dalcz, Director of External Affairs for Inspire offered her thanks, “The whole BSA team have been so supportive in terms of raising funds and awareness of mental health. With the additional support of the IFA, this promises to be great event. During the course of a year one in four people will experience some type of mental health issue. Anyone may be affected, regardless of age, gender, social class or lifestyle. Inspire provides mental health, addiction and learning disability support services across Northern Ireland and helps thousands of people every week. The support from the individuals in the BSA is invaluable.”
Volunteers bring immeasurable value to all areas of Inspire’s work to support people living with mental health conditions or an intellectual/learning disability. Find out more about how you get involved with our work.