A pioneering link-up between Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and game studio Ninja Theory has led to a student achieving his dream of becoming a peer support worker.
Eddy Maile became the first recipient of Senua’s Scholarship – set up by Ninja Theory after the award-winning Cambridge company worked with the Trust ahead of launching the worldwide hit Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. After completing his peer support training in the RCE Wellbeing Hub, the scholarship paid for Eddy to undertake some additional training - a Level 3 in Education and Training - and now he’s landed a full-time job in the Recovery Coach Team at CPFT.
Eddy was recently presented with his scholarship certificate and a new tablet, donated by CPFT charity Head to Toe and Ninja Theory. He said: “This Senua scholarship has been a real honour. I want Recovery College East, Ninja Theory, Head To Toe and Hellblade fans to know how much I appreciate this wonderful opportunity they've given me to turn my life around. It has been an eventful few years and there were times it didn't seem possible that I'd make it through, but it's been the most formative time in my life and recovery journey. This Senua scholarship has allowed me to use my experiences to help others living with significant mental health challenges. The Senua scholarship is one of the best things that's happened for me. Thank you for believing in me."
Dom Mathews, Ninja Theory’s Studio Head, said: “We’re delighted to see our first Senua’s Scholarship be so successful and for Hellblade to have given Eddy the opportunity to build for his future.”
Ninja Theory approached the Trust early in the game’s development because it wanted to put a character with mental health challenges at the centre of its story.
The company spent three years working with staff and students from the Trust’s Recovery College East which gives those with mental and physical health challenges the chance to return to the classroom and learn new skills.
The pioneering move led to the launch of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacifice and has been a commercial and critical success for its portrayal of the lead character, the Celtic warrior Senua, who has psychosis. The game won five BAFTAs, three Game Awards and three awards for excellence in mental health care and research at the prestigious Royal College of Psychiatrists Awards.
Sharon Gilfoyle, Associate Director of Inclusion at CPFT said: “We are so proud of our partnership with Ninja Theory and the work over the past few years. We are also thrilled to have seen Eddy thrive and develop during this period and we are all so pleased he has now secured a PSW post in CPFT. Well done, Eddy!
Emma Taylor, RCE Wellbeing Hub Manager, added: “It’s been an honour to see the impact that the Senua Scholarship has had on Eddy and, following this success, I am excited to announce that Ninja Theory and RCE Wellbeing Hub will continue to work together offering this fabulous opportunity to a new scholar in the upcoming months. If you are interested in being considered for this exciting opportunity, please contact RCEWellbeingHub@cpft.nhs.uk referencing the Ninja Theory Scholarship. We can’t wait to hear from you.”
Pictured back row: Dom Mathews, Studio Head, Ninja Theory; Eddy Maile.
Front row: Alex Gordon, Manager of Head to Toe Charity; Emma Taylor, RCE Wellbeing Hub Manager, and Sharon Gilfoyle, Associate Director of Inclusion at CPFT