Fire engines, ambulances and police cars are descending on the Ricoh Arena as part of celebrations to recognise the work carried out by the region’s emergency services.
Wasps are holding a 999 Emergency Services Day ahead of their Aviva Premiership clash with Harlequins on Sunday, September 17 (kick-off 3pm), and to say thank you, all emergency services employees are being offered free entry to the match.
The day gets underway at midday where there will be a selection of displays from the local emergency services and associated charitable organisations including the West Midlands Police Band, a display from the police dog section and a driving simulator.
Neal Coupland, Head of Community at Wasps, said: “Our match days provide the perfect opportunity to shine a light on certain aspects of our community to thousands of people, and we thought it was especially important to highlight the work of the emergency services.
“A lot of the work carried out by the police, fire service, ambulance service and air ambulance to keep us all safe often goes unsung.
“By giving them free entry to the game and the opportunity to promote the work they do in front of a large audience is our way of giving something back and saying thank you.
“We’re expecting a big crowd against our old rivals Harlequins, so we’d urge fans to arrive early so they can soak up the pre-match atmosphere and take a look around our dedicated emergency services area.”
Joining emergency services personnel on match day is a mental health campaign called It Takes Balls to Talk to mark World Suicide Prevention Day on Sunday, 10 September. The campaign was launched at the Ricoh Arena in October 2016 - encouraging people, particularly men, to talk about their feelings and open up about mental health.
To spread the message, mental health charity Coventry and Warwickshire Mind is also bringing its Journey Bus to offer people more information about anxiety, depression and wellbeing as well as available support locally.
Alex Cotton, mental health nurse and It Takes Balls to Talk Founder, added: “Men in general, particularly those working in the emergency services who are confronted with challenging circumstances, often don’t talk about how they’re feeling and so this Emergency Services Day is a great opportunity to spread awareness that it is ok to talk to somebody.
“We want to create a mental health family that inspires people to have positive conversations about their state of mind, regardless of whether you’re an emergency services worker, an elite athlete or a member of the general public.
“Being able to spread awareness at events that attract thousands of people is vital for the campaign’s success, and we’re extremely grateful to Wasps for giving us a platform to spread our message and save lives.” Visit www.ittakesballstotalk.com for more information.
Tickets for Wasps v Harlequins can be purchased from www.wasps.co.uk/tickets and start from £23 for adults, while under-10s go free in certain categories.
Emergency services personnel can claim their free ticket by 5pm on Friday, 8 September by visiting www.wasps.co.uk/newsarticle/2017/08/10/free-ticket-to-wasps-v-harlequins-for-emergency-services-employees - emergency services staff can also purchase additional tickets at a discounted rate using a discount code available from their local representatives.