By Rebecca Birkbeck, Director of Community and Shared Value

We’re aiming to raise £6m for our charity partners Mind (England and Wales), SAMH (Scotland) and Inspire (Northern Ireland) to improve mental wellbeing across the UK and we want to get as many of us involved as possible!

We know many of you are doing a great job with fundraising already, so a huge thanks and please carry on your fantastic work. To help meet our fundraising goal, there’ll be five weeks this year where we’re asking colleagues to go all out to raise as much money as we can for our charity partners.

The first of these weeks will run from Thursday 6 February – Friday 14 February and anything goes. From bake sales, to sponsored walks we want to connect and come together to help make a difference. If you’re running a parkrun this week, maybe you could support our charities by being sponsored – you never know it could spur you on to a new PB.

Unfortunately 1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental health problem every year. Research has shown that simply by connecting with other people that wellbeing can be improved. Connect is also the first of the ‘Five ways to wellbeing’ which we’re using as the theme for our fundraising weeks. The five ways were developed by the New Economic Foundation in consultation with UK government and experts in mental health and wellbeing.

Although the fundraising is focused on raising money to help others with their mental health, we know that like the rest of the population many of our colleagues are also impacted. If you need support with your mental health you’re not alone and you can get help today. Call Lifeworks using our confidential 24/7 phone number on 0800 069 8854.

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. This is why wellbeing is a key focus area for our Co-op and our Co-operate 2022 community plan.

So please, save the date and let us know what you’re planning in the comments below and on Yammer. You can get your fundraising guide here or by emailing the charity partnership team on charitypartnership@coop.co.uk

Happy fundraising!