The Co-op has announced a new charity partnership with Mind in England and Wales, SAMH in Scotland and Inspire in Northern Ireland to support its commitment to support mental wellbeing among its colleagues and communities across the UK.
The Co-op will be working with the charities to help people develop skills to support both their own and others’ mental health in their communities.
The Co-op also aims to raise £6m through the partnership by engaging colleagues, members and customers in a range of national and local fundraising.
The initial focus will be on fundraising but the partnership will develop in order to enable the charities to deliver innovative new services in communities across the UK to ensure people receive the support they need.
Steve Murrells, Co-op CEO said:
“For decades mental health has been under reported and underfunded. It’s also one of those issues people still find difficult to talk about.
“It not only feels right that as a Co-op we focus on this issue but our Community Wellbeing Index, which enables people to go on line and compare their community with 28,000 others across the country, has identified mental wellbeing as an area that needs our support.
“Supporting the issues surrounding mental wellbeing is a key part of our Co-operate 2022 plan and is interlinked to our other key focus areas, spaces and skills, to create healthier and happier communities.
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:
“We’re delighted to be forming a major partnership with the Co-op. As mental health begins to rise up the agenda, we are becoming more aware of the need to provide help and support to the one in four of us who experience a mental health problem every year, and support communities across the UK to build resilience.”
Billy Watson, Chief Executive of SAMH, said:
“We are excited to launch this fantastic new partnership with the Co-op, which will help communities come together to improve mental wellbeing across Scotland and beyond. We know that connecting with others, access to the right support and looking after your own mental and physical health are just some of the factors that can benefit mental wellbeing.
“Working with one of Scotland’s biggest retailers and funeral operators is an excellent opportunity to help communities make positive changes, and we thank the Co-op for recognising the importance.”
The campaign follows another recent charity partnership, between Co-op and British Red Cross. During the campaign the Government appointed a minister with specific responsibility for loneliness and the “Connecting Communities” programme, funded by money raised by Co-op colleagues and members, enabled the British Red Cross to support more than 10,000 people.
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