Time To Tackle
1649. Aaron Connolly
1650. Siobhan Connolly
Aaron and Siobhan Connolly, from Glasgow, created ‘Time to Tackle’, in response to footballer Aaron’s own struggles with mental illness and suicide attempts, to bring lived experience support groups to people who are struggling.
Aaron and Siobhan set up the group in October 2019, six months after Aaron attempted suicide, as a way of combining Aaron’s passion for football with the creation of a safe space for people to get together and discuss mental health issues, particularly men who might not otherwise feel able to open up and share these conversations. ‘Time To Tackle’ provides a peer support network and regular five-a-side football sessions each week, as well as hosting activities such as football therapy and walking groups in addition to peer-led listening services.
In a personal letter to Aaron and Siobhan, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I was inspired to learn of ‘Time To Tackle’ and how you are tackling the stigma often associated with mental health. You know from your own experience how vital it is to open up honest and supportive conversations.
“With your football therapy and walking groups, you have helped hundreds of people improve their physical and mental wellbeing.”
“We at ‘Time to Tackle’ are absolutely thrilled to have received the Points of Light reward. We are truly humbled to receive recognition for running our community programme peer support programme which we absolutely love doing. Myself and Siobhan have suffered immensely in the past with my mental health struggles and we intend to do all we can to support others in need using our own lived experience. Time to Tackle has not only provided a safe space for participants to come and enjoy the company of others and access peer support for the tough times in life, it has also provided myself and Siobhan a place to share on our tough days and helps us immensely. We want to dedicate this award to everyone out there who is fighting a battle every day and remind you that you are strong and can overcome your challenges. Just a couple of years ago I lay in a hospital bed on the brink of suicide almost tearing our family apart, now today we are a stronger family unit than ever and we have the privilege of helping to guide others on their journey. Thank you.”