Who Cares Wins: Local Mental Health Hero Recognised on National Stage
Luke Wilkinson, Health Team Leader at the Derby County Community Trust, was nominated in the national Who Cares Wins Awards which were aired on Channel 4 last night.
The glitzy affair paid tribute to healthcare and community heroes who have made a positive impact on others throughout the pandemic. The awards have been held annually since 2017, and celebrate amazing doctors, nurses, midwives, surgeons, volunteers, researchers and charity workers. Luke was nominated for the Mental Health Hero award, which was given out in memory of Caroline Flack.
Luke has worked at the Community Trust for 15 years and has led the Team Talk project since 2018. It’s designed to give males a safe space to talk and has grown from a single weekly session into four hubs across the city, supporting up to 120 males on a regular basis.
Although the accolade went to another deserving nominee, who had worked to set up a grief café in Cornwall after losing her son, Luke said the honour of representing his workplace at such a prestigious level was the only recognition he needed.
“To be shortlisted was such an amazing feeling, especially knowing that I had been nominated by participants on the programme. We are just trying to make a small difference to people’s lives and even if we help one person, it’s someone that might not have found someone to talk to without Team Talk.”
Alongside meeting other nominees, the Derby County representatives were honoured by being invited to share a table with His Royal Highness, the Duke of Cambridge, and David Beckham OBE. Both were keen to find out more about Team Talk and the use of football in tackling issues around mental health.
“I honestly can’t describe how it felt when we realised we had been invited to spend the evening with such prolific figures. They were genuinely interested in the project and all the work we do, and there really is no greater honour,” Luke added.
Team Talk operates various weekly sessions, with the main ‘Chatty Room’ session taking place every Monday evening from 6-8pm at the Derby County Community Trust offices.