The Cumberland is donating £19,000 to mental health charities after pledging to give £1 for every vote cast at its AGM last week [July 20].
The money will be divided between Cumbria Mind, Lancashire Mind and Support in Mind Scotland with the split proportionate to the number of customers in each area. It reflects vital work done by the charities during the pandemic and their ongoing support for mental health and wellbeing.
Good mental health is a priority for us, and it’s become even more important over the last 18 months due to the impact of the pandemic. We’ve worked closely with Mind for a number of years as they have helped support our goal of improving colleague wellbeing, so we are thrilled to be able to provide this donation to them this year. The donation is made on behalf of our members that voted at our AGM, and the funds will be used locally to support initiatives that will make a real difference in our communities.
Each Mind charity operates independently of national Mind and tailors its services to local demands. They have faced similar challenges over the last 18 months with all experiencing an increase in demand for help and support.
Carlisle Eden Mind plans to use its donation to help fund its helpline MindLine. Michael Boaden, Adult Services Manager for Carlisle Eden Mind, said calls had increased over the last year and, although many were from regular callers, the pandemic had seen the number rise.
We've had an increase in calls overall and that's been from a wide range of people. That includes people who are struggling with mental health issues generally speaking and have struggled more because their anxiety has increased or their symptoms of depression have got worse. The Cumberland's donation will go to specifically keep the line open and hopefully develop the service as well, because one of the things we're really keen to do in the longer term is to extend its hours.
In Dumfries and Galloway, Mind's sister charity, Support in Mind Scotland, helped nearly 600 people through the pandemic.
The branch had to move its work online when the first lockdown was imposed but still came up with innovative ideas to keep its 580 service users connected and active. They ranged from getting people online to self-care packs, Christmas bags and Tai Chi sessions.
Area manager Emma Scott says that whatever they received would go to those they support. "We are people first," she said. "Any donations we focus on how we can improve the lives of the people who use the service."
After seeing demand for its services from young people more than double in three months, Lancashire Mind is launching an emergency appeal on July 26 to raise £10,000.
Fundraising lead Emma Bateson says there are a variety of issues that young people are coming to them with. "We're hearing from a lot of children who have found that the Covid-19 pandemic has left them feeling stressed, worried, low in mood, and big drops in confidence," she said. "The projects that we offer for children and young people are very much about resilience and prevention. We're working with children with mild mental health conditions, the services we offer stop those children becoming more unwell, thus taking the pressure off organisations that are dealing with young people at crisis point."