By Katie Pauline, Community Partnership Fund adviser 

This month we’re asking you to unleash your inner superhero and fundraise for Mind, SAMH & Inspire at any point during May.  

From roller-skating Funeral Directors, skydiving Store Managers or adding a donation at till or to a Deliveroo basket, everyone can don their capes and superhero masks to fundraise. You can get your fundraising pack here.  

Supporting mental wellbeing is a big part of our vision of co-operating for a fairer world. 1 in 4 of us experience a mental health problem in any given year and the pandemic is having an impact with 60% of adults and 68% of young people reporting their mental health has got worse.  

That’s why, after listening to our colleagues, members and customers, we’ve extended the fundraising for our partnership with Mind, SAMH and Inspire until June 2022, and increased our target to raise £8m to support even more people across the UK.  

Thank you 

Thanks to all of you, £4.7m has been raised so far, with pilot services currently being run in communities across the UK to test the role of community and resilience in mental wellbeing. 

You’ve embraced our charity partners and gone above and beyond to bring communities together to support mental wellbeing so we wanted to call out just a few of our many fundraising superheroes! 

  • Sophie Scott-Jones (South DMD PA) and Matthew Young (Area Manager) who are currently planning a Million Pound Mile. The pandemic has meant so many knock backs but their commitment to the partnership and ensuring the event can still go ahead has never wavered – and it looks set to be incredible! 
  • Sharon Long and Stephen McMahon (Lisburn – Belsize Road and Belfast – Old Park Store Managers) have encouraged, inspired and rallied all NI stores to get involved in fundraising. They truly champion the partnership and the importance of positive mental health and wellbeing not only with staff but customers and their community
  • Simon Devlin from Gateshead Funeralcare (aka the ‘Rundertaker’) has been super-active with his fundraising, taking on a cycling challenge with his team and working up to a solo ultra-marathon raising over £1700 for the latter!  
  • Maria Dryburgh (North Region Community Lead, Scotland) has shown complete dedication to the partnership since day one. Always keen and ready to support and engage all regions of the North in fundraising plans and raising awareness
  • Maria Ashford (Region 7 Community Lead) has really led the way in getting teams engaged within her region who are smashing the fundraising totals
  • The Big Stewie fundraising group from the Co-op IT team have made a heroic effort over the past 18 months with a number of events including 2 pre-covid comedy evenings and more recently a virtual round the world in 80 days fundraiser. They’ve helped raise more funds and awareness of the partnership through engaging with suppliers and their total has exceeded £20k! 
  • Team Macaulay Road Stornaway (Stornaway, Isle of Lewis). The whole team have gone above and beyond throughout the partnership and their efforts have seen them raise the most funds out of all the stores in Scotland! 
  • Trevor Rigley (Store Manager, Wolds Drive) Trevor and team have fundraised non-stop over the past 18 months showing boundless energy and enthusiasm. Trevor’s next adventure for Mind is Everest! A true superhero – we can hardly keep up with all the activities and fundraisers he has planned.  

We’re always on the lookout for great fundraising activities we can send a photographer out to. If you and your team have something exciting planned this May, let us know: coop@mind.org.uk  

If you need help with your mental wellbeing you can also: 

  • Call Lifeworks for support on our confidential 24/7 Employee Assistance Programme on 0800 069 8854