Former rugby league players back mental health sponsored challenge

Inspirational former rugby league players Jimmy Gittins and Danny Sculthorpe are joining forces with staff from 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and supporters of mental health charity State of Mind Sport to complete a 50 mile sponsored journey around the five boroughs the Trust serves.
Taking place from 25 to 26 June, the ‘It’s Time to Move’ event will cover Halton, Warrington, Wigan, Knowsley and St Helens over two days

Gittins and Sculthorpe, who will complete the challenge using wheelchair hand-cycles, will be joined by 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust staff Alex Horrocks and Will Stringer alongside State of Mind Sport co-founders Doctor Phil Cooper and Ernie Benbow.

The walk will raise funds for State of Mind Sport to enable the charity to continue raising awareness of mental fitness throughout the local area and to provide support to those who may be experiencing difficulties.
Wigan College Feb 2016 Danny and Will

Doctor Phil Cooper, co-founder of State of Mind Sport and Nurse Consultant in Dual Diagnosis at 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: “The ‘It’s Time to Move’ sponsored journey is a great opportunity for us to highlight the importance of mental fitness. Research shows that physical activity can have a positive impact upon health and wellbeing and we encourage as many people as possible who use our services in each borough to join the journey for one section, or for as much as they can, or just come and say hello.

“Having Jimmy and Danny on board is a great way to cement the charity’s key aim of harnessing the power of sport to promote positive mental fitness among our sportsmen and women, fans and wider communities.”

Jimmy Gittins who broke his neck playing rugby league 12 years ago said: “I know how difficult it is to keep active after a life changing event, but if you can join us on any part of the walk or just come and say hello it will make you feel good.”

“It will be great to be part of a team again for this event. I know first-hand how keeping as active as you can really helps with mental fitness.” commented Wigan Warriors ex-player Danny Sculthorpe.
Barber pic SOM
Simon Barber, Chief Executive at 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, who is also a patron of State of Mind Sport added: “The State of Mind Sport Programme plays such a valuable part in raising awareness about positive mental health and in sharing the message throughout our communities about how lifestyle choices can impact on mental wellbeing. I am proud of the Trust’s ongoing support of State of Mind Sport.”

For further information about the Its Time to Move event, log onto or to make a donation visit

For more information, contact Zoe Graham, Senior Communications and Marketing Officer on 01925 664034, or email

5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides treatment, support and guidance for a wide range of physical and mental health issues as well as learning disability services to people living in the boroughs of Halton, Knowsley, St Helens, Warrington and Wigan

It’s Time to Move itinerary:

Day One 25 June
The event will begin from Brooker Centre Halton Hospital and head to Warrington Hospital and then on to Crosfields Rugby League Armed Forces Day Event (Tom Sephton Trophy) and then head towards Leigh Infirmary and then to finish at Ashton Bears Rugby League Club on the Saturday evening

Day Two 26 June
Ashton Bears to Whiston Hospital, Knowsley and Peasley Cross Hospital St. Helens and then to finish at Hollins Park in Warrington