By Liz Greenwood, Community Partnerships Fund Advisor 

After recognising the pandemic’s impact on mental wellbeing, in 2020 we pledged to raise a total of £8m for our charity partners Mind, SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) and Inspire, to support new mental wellbeing services across the UK. Thanks to our amazing colleagues, we’ve now raised a staggering £6m. We’re so grateful to everyone who has made this happen. But with £2m to raise, it’s important we keep the momentum going! 

After all, supporting others and our own mental wellbeing is incredibly important. On average, 1 in 4 of us experience mental health problems in any one year. Our new research  Together Through Tough Times, shows the vital role of communities in supporting mental wellbeing. 

The money you’ve raised is funding 50 new mental wellbeing services in local communities across the UK, helping at least 10,000 people. These services draw on local community networks to support people’s mental wellbeing, such as:

  • Teaching self-care and mindfulness skills in Hackney and Manchester to address the mental health needs of LGBTQ+ youth
  • Working with young people in Glasgow who have been recently bereaved
  • Supporting young Black men in Lambeth through lyric writing
  • Exploring the positive effects of getting out in the fresh air for the recently bereaved in St Helens
  • Safeguarding young people’s mental health on social media in Medway
  • Providing emotional support through early intervention services for children and young people in Oldham and Tameside

You’ve really embraced Mind, SAMH and Inspire, from organising community fairs, raffles and car washes to hiking, sky diving and rollerblading. Some of you have shaved your heads to even getting tattoos of the Mind logo. Incredible. We want to say thank you by calling out a few of our fundraising superheroes! 

Our superheroes 

On the 18 September, nine cyclists from our Construction and Supply Chain team took up the Lejog challenge of cycling 900 from Land’s End to John O’Groats over eight days. They raised a phenomenal £27,500 for Mind, SAMH and Inspire.

Colleagues from across Food, Funeralcare and Support Centre recently completed the Great Manchester 10k Run. Collectively they raised a whopping £13,419.30!

Leah Millin and colleagues from the Bolton Care Centre Funeralcare Team took on a three-day Snowdonia bootcamp at the beginning of September – climbing  and conquering Mount Snowdon, Llanberis Lake and a waterfall. They raised an amazing £525.  

Lorna Raeburn and colleagues from Co-op’s Longniddry store hosted a BBQ festival fundraiser on Gullane Beach, raising £540. 

Trevor Rigley climbed Snowdon at night and then casually ran the Manchester 10k dressed as a smurf in the morning, raising £661. 

Samantha Ritchie and Belinda Collins from Funeralcare ran the Torquay Half Marathon and raised £663.

Emma Phelan, Samantha Auston and Joshua Farr from Queen’s Drive store biked and held an auction. Brave Sam also shaved her head during the August fundraising initiative. And together they raised an incredible £1400 in a week.

Kelly, Michelle and Will performed a 15,000ft tandem skydive on World Mental Health Day, raising £1,885.

And last but not least a thank you goes out to Paul Stonebridge, who organised this year’s Charity Golf Day, hosted by Co-op Property, which raised £10,200.

Join us in February

We still need your help to reach our fundraising target of £8m. Get your thinking caps on and join us in our penultimate fundraising week from 31 Jan – 6 Feb 2022. We’ll be revealing the theme very soon. 

If you can’t wait that long and have fundraising plans in the meantime, we have a colleague fundraising toolkit with lots of hints and tips to help you. Contact the charity hotline on for this and help with all things fundraising. 

Don’t forget, you can also encourage our customers and members to donate between 50p and £5 to Mind, SAMH and Inspire at the till in any of our Food stores across the UK.

Supporting your own mental wellbeing is important

As a colleague, there’s support available to you; from counselling with our provider Lifeworks, to GP services via Smart Health, to Gympass our physical health and wellbeing platform. You can find out more about the resources here.

Even a small improvement to your wellbeing can help you better manage your mental health. Our ‘Be kind to your mind’ guide has ways to support your own and others mental wellbeing.

Helping others can have a positive impact on your own wellbeing. You can find things to do and groups in your area to support at Co-operate, our online community centre.