By Rebecca Birkbeck, Director of Community and Shared Value

Ahead of World Mental Health Day tomorrow, I’m delighted to let you know that we’ve raised a staggering £2m so far for our national charity partners, Mind, SAMH and Inspire.

We’re now well on our way to hitting our fundraising target of £6m which will be used to bring communities together, both physically and virtually, to improve mental wellbeing.

One in four people experience a mental health problem each year in the UK. And Mind has reported that more than half of adults and over two thirds of young people saw their mental health deteriorate during lockdown.

A big thank you goes out to our incredible colleagues in food stores, depots, funeral homes and offices who’ve helped us reach the £2m mark.

£500k of this was thanks to your inspiring efforts during our last fundraising week at the end of August – which is just incredible given the fact that we haven’t been able to go about it in the usual way.

Funding new services  

Because of you, we’re now able to start working with our charity partners to test services that we hope to roll out locally in 2021 – when we’ve reached our target – to support mental wellbeing.

We’re exploring the positive effects of getting out in the fresh air for the recently bereaved in St Helens, how we can help young people safeguard their mental health on social media in Medway and, in Hackney, we’re teaching self-care and mindfulness skills to address the mental health needs of LGBT youth. You can find out more about the services and where they’re taking place online

Thank you for continuing to Raise Plenty in 2020 this week during our final fundraising period of the year, I’ve enjoyed seeing all your pictures and stories across Twitter. We’ve made it simple for customers and members to donate in store at till with us tomorrow – all they need to do is ask their server to add 50p, £1, £2 or £5 to their shop. We’re also working with some brilliant brands, too. 13 of our suppliers are helping our charity partners and together have raised over £300,000.

And this is just the start. Earlier this week I shared that we’re using the extra money from members to support our national charity partners even more through our new Community Partnerships Fund.  

Your mental health

As a colleague your wellbeing is our number one priority and if you feel you need support there are lots of resources available to you. You aren’t alone. There’s lots of support available on anything from mental wellbeing to financial help.

If you haven’t already, try out our Great Mental Health Quiz – a short quiz to help you think about you and the things you can do to improve your mental health.

Understanding how you’re feeling is really powerful and when you take the quiz you’ll get a personal report with the three things you can easily do to improve your mental health. Sometimes having some clear directions on what you can do is really helpful.  You can retake the quiz as often as you like and don’t worry, no personal data is collected at all.

Why not take a look at Co-operate, our online community centre that helps people come together to make good things happen. There are thousands of groups across the UK that you can join or support and a handy guide to help you create your own wellbeing activity in your local community. Get involved at co-operate.coop.co.uk

Our Wellbeing Quiz – created with our charity partners – is on Wednesday 14 October. Why not sign up, have some fun and join speakers from Mind, SAMH and Inspire to hear more about the partnership and looking after your wellbeing.

Lifeworks

You can always find support by calling our employee assistance programme LifeWorks from a UK landline or a mobile for free on 0800 069 8854. For online support, you can visit the LifeWorks website, the conversation will be totally confidential.  Register here if you’ve not already.

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Charity partnership, Membership