We donate more than £46,000 to help support mental health support services in Wales
Hundreds of people in Wales facing health issues such as anxiety and depression will be able to get help with their mental wellbeing thanks to the record fundraising efforts of staff at the Wales & West Housing Group.
Staff at the housing provider have donated more than £46,000 to Mind Cymru – the results of two years of fundraising throughout the lockdowns.
When everyone was at home and some were shielding, WWHG took its staff fundraising online and raised a record amount. One of the highlights was the WWHG Big 3 Challenge in the summer of 2020. Over 3 weeks 820 staff working in the Group were invited to take on a personal challenge involving the number 3, which raised more than £3,500. Some of the activities included running, walking and cycling 3,000 miles, baking 333 cupcakes, teaching pets 3 new tricks, loading 333 bales of hay on a tractor and taking 30 photos during shielding. Some staff also donated the odd number of pennies from their pay to Mind Cymru, which raised thousands of pounds.
Sue O’Leary, Director Mind Cymru, was invited to WWHG’s head office in Llanishen, Cardiff, to receive a cheque for the total fundraising.
She said: “This is an incredible amount of money. Thank you so much for this amazing contribution.”
“The mental health need over the pandemic has increased massively. One third of people now using our services say they have never experienced mental health problems before. It is particularly affecting people in financial hardship, black and minority ethnic groups and young people.”
Some of the services offered by Mind Cymru are:
- A helpline – providing information and signposting service when people need it most
- A network of Local Minds – supporting people in their communities with services such as counselling and therapies
- Information – through its website and publications
- Workplace support – ensuring people get the best support at work
- Campaigning – to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding
- Side by Side – online peer support platform creating a space for people to connect with each other
- Active Monitoring – providing early intervention for over-18s. Anyone who asks for support can get six weeks of guided self-help support from a mental health practitioner either face-to-face or over the telephone. The sessions can focus on anxiety, depression, stress, self-esteem, loneliness, anger, grief, and loss.
Sue O’Leary added: “Around 85 per cent of people using our Active Monitoring service say they experience reduced feelings of anxiety and depression and improved wellbeing.
“The money raised by WWHG staff will go towards funding our work and services where it is needed most.”
Sue O’Leary, Director Mind Cymru
Wales & West Housing’s Group Chief Executive, Anne Hinchey, said: “As we come out of the pandemic there is a greater need than ever for mental health support.
“Through their network of 19 local Minds across Wales, Mind Cymru works hard to make sure that everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets the support and respect they deserve.
“Our staff have worked hard to raise such an incredible amount. I’m proud of them and the amazing and innovative ways they have risen to some of our challenges. Together we have been able to make a difference to Mind Cymru and its commitment to improving mental health.”
Wales & West Housing’s Group Chief Executive, Anne Hinchey
Since 2006 WWHG staff have raised more than £160,000 for charities including Age Cymru, Stroke Association, Help For Heroes, Alzheimer’s Society, NSPCC, Tenovus and Guide Dogs. They are currently fundraising for Blood Bikes Wales & Wales Air Ambulance