It’s OK to not be OK

Organisers of GroundsFest have revealed that there will be a focus on mental health at the event which takes place at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire on 20 and 21 September 2023.

GroundsFest will feature a free-to-attend education programme throughout the two-day event, which has been designed to provide advice and real solutions to the biggest topics within the groundscare industry. Ed Ramsden is one of many expert speakers participating in the education programme and he will be delivering a vitally important seminar which focusses on mental health.

Ed has been in the groundscare industry for over 22 years and has worked in many various roles. He has been a greenkeeper, a gardener for a local authority and has worked at a racecourse and at a school. From a young age, Ed says that his happy place has always been when he is in nature, but his career path hasn’t always proved to be this way.

“I have had some real highs but also some lows that have nearly broken me,” he said. “My passion for what we all do as grounds people is something I wish others outside the industry could understand.

“I am not unique in this respect, and it is not unusual for us to put our work before so much in our lives. We work long, unsociable hours and give our time up unpaid and un-recognised. Yet we still do it fuelled by self-drive and passion to improve playing surfaces. This can all get too much, and pressure from ourselves combined with demands put on us by others, can take their toll.”

In his seminar, Ed will be sharing information, advice, and guidance about emotional and mental wellbeing. The content of the seminar could help people who are currently struggling with their mental health but also help others to identify early warning signs.

“We need things to change but how will we do it?” continued Ed. “I am not trying to solve this on my own but together we just might be able to. Therefore, I wanted to be involved with GroundsFest and work with them to try and raise awareness and get people talking.

“It’s OK to not be OK.”

In addition to Ed’s seminar, further mental health resources will be available through Shout – a free text messaging service which provides 24/7 support for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. The Shout team will be available to talk to in person throughout the two-day event and can be located on Stand 7 in Hall 1.

If you are struggling to cope and need to talk, Shout are here for you, day or night. Simply text the word ‘SHOUT’ to 85258 to start a conversation.

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