By Rebecca Birkbeck, Director of Community and Shared Value
Earlier this month we made a really exciting announcement when we launched our new charity partnership.
Through our Community Wellbeing Index, we know that mental wellbeing is really important and if people aren’t happy, it not only effects their lives; but it can also negatively affect their communities too. Likewise, if people struggle to access community spaces to get together and learn new skills, their wellbeing can be compromised.
That’s why our Co-operate 2022 plan is built around skills, spaces and wellbeing. 1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental health problem every year. We know that by fundraising with our partners and then putting in place practical ways to help, we can make a positive difference to the wellbeing of communities in which we all live and work.
Our three new charity partners are Mind (England and Wales), SAMH (Scotland) and Inspire (Northern Ireland). They all do amazing things, and with the money raised by Co-op colleagues we’ll be able to bring communities together to improve mental wellbeing through rolling out new services across the UK.
You’ll hear more about them and their work over the next weeks and months but I just wanted to give you a quick snapshot of who they are and what they do:
Mind is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales, providing advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding, and won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets both support and respect.
They’ve got a specialist Infoline that offers callers help and support if they’re experiencing a mental health problem or know someone who is, and their Legal Line provides information on mental health related law.
Mind is amazing at educating people about mental health, understanding conditions and options available to them and have won awards for this work.
There’s 130 local Minds in communities across England and Wales that provide help and support directly to those who need it most.
SAMH is Scotland’s national mental health charity and has been working in communities for over 95 years, since 1923.
They work with adults, children and young people in over 60 communities providing mental health social care support, services in primary care, schools and further education, among others. These services together with SAMH’s national programme work in See Me, respectme, suicide prevention and active living; inform its policy and campaign work to influence positive social change.
Olympian Sir Chris Hoy, is the charity’s Ambassador and has spoken about the link between physical and mental wellbeing, which is also one of our key focus areas for Co-operate 2022.
Inspire delivers mental health, learning/intellectual disability, autism, addiction, workplace and student wellbeing services across Northern Ireland.
Inspire aims to support and champion wellbeing for all. It supports people accessing its services, and their families, to maintain a sense of hope, establish a positive identity and to realise their full potential to build a meaningful life.
We’re delighted to be partnering with all these charities and this gives us a great opportunity to not only raise money but also show the great things that can come from co-operation.
As you know we also have a relationship with the Samaritans and will be giving the money raised by customers and colleagues in the Isle of Man to them to focus on wellbeing.
I’m so happy that we’re focusing on wellbeing as part of our community plan, Co-operate 2022, alongside spaces and skills. Anyone can be affected by mental health issues at any time, and I hope that if you aren’t feeling yourself, you’re able to talk to your family, friends, colleagues or even pick up the phone to Lifeworks our employee assistance programme – 0800 069 8854.
We’ll have lots of things to update you on in the coming months but for now we’re looking forward to seeing some exciting fundraising activities. Have a look at the guide, get creative and let’s make a fantastic difference for mental wellbeing.
For fundraising advice and materials please get in touch with the partnership hotline on 0203 995 6188 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.