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Flintshire boxer turned nurse shortlisted for award

Flintshire boxer turned nurse shortlisted for award
Flintshire boxer turned nurse shortlisted for award
Image caption Mark Field said he thought the nomination was a hoax

A nurse who uses boxing to help people overcome mental health problems, has been shortlisted for an award.

Mark Field, from Connah's Quay, Flintshire, gave up a career in the sport because of health problems and trained as a psychiatric nurse.

For more than 20 years he has combined his gym skills and mental health training to assist young people.

On receiving the Royal College of Nursing Awards nomination, he said: "I thought it was a scam."

Mr Field has been shortlisted in the mental health category of the awards.

He and the team at the Buckley Amateur Boxing Club encourage young people with ADHD, bipolar and depression to use the sport to overcome issues like low confidence and self-esteem.

Image caption Buckley Amateur Boxing Club helps young people with mental health problems

While he has been at the club, Mr Field said many of the more than 200 members had found boxing helped them cope with a range of emotional and psychological issues.

"There's still a stigma attached to people with mental health problems, but I feel from a boxing gym we help individuals feel like they're part of something," he said.

'An inspiration'

Mr Field was himself diagnosed with depression and bipolar when he was forced to quit boxing 23 years ago when a cyst was discovered on his brain.

He went back to university, trained as a psychiatric nurse and now works in adult mental health in Chester.

James Rees, 17, joined the boxing club when he was eight and had suffered from low self-esteem when he arrived but said: "it's given me a purpose, self-respect, respect for another person."

Of Mr Field, he added: "He's just an inspiration. He's someone to look up to and I don't know what I'd do without him. "

The award winners will be announced on 4 July.

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