Former Burnley FC defender Clarke Carlisle has thanked local NHS workers, with a special mention to those working in mental health services.

The former professional footballer, who attempted to take his life in 2014, thanked the NHS from the bottom of his heart as Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust launched their 'Thank You Week' - which coincides with 'Mental Health Awareness Week' and International Nurses’ Day.

Clarke said: “I know people are acknowledging what you’re doing now, it’s almost as though they think you’ve just started to work hard, but you have been synonymous with my journey from 2017 and I know that you’ve been working incredibly hard for decades.

“Whether it was at Blackburn hospital, where I was in psychiatric care, or the fantastic workers at Strand House in Preston with my outpatient care and my therapy and counselling – what you’re doing on a daily basis is changing lives and helping people like me to become well, and stay well.

“I thank you from the bottom of my heart”

The trust is honouring its workforce of over 7,000 during a week-long celebration (10-14 May), to thank them for their incredible work during the Covid pandemic.

Clarke continued: “I can’t imagine what it’s been like this last year, having to try and generate that empathetic touch with people through layers of PPE, through your own health anxieties with Covid on the loose.

"Let me tell you – you are life savers, you are life changers."

Chief executive of the trust, Caroline Donovan added: “The incredible work our staff do across Lancashire and South Cumbria every day should be commended.

“Our community nurses, inpatient teams, therapists, medics, domestics, admin workers and so many more, have been on the frontline throughout the last 12 months, and it is vitally important that we recognise the way they have risen to this challenge.

“Their hard work is appreciated by so many across Lancashire and South Cumbria.”