Mind, the mental health charity, has opened a pop up charity shop at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall and is setting a challenge for Londoners to buy a gift for a friend, neighbour or someone in the community who might be feeling alone this Christmas. With 84 per cent of people with a mental health problem saying they have felt isolated, Londoners have the chance this busy shopping weekend to stop someone special from feeling so alone and to show their generosity.
Mind’s pop up shop, located on the Spirit Level of the Southbank Centre, will be open until Sunday 11 January and offers an alternative way of giving. Members of the public can find hidden gems amongst an array of second-hand items, loan an item from the toy library and also donate unwanted gifts. The pop up also includes Making Visible, an exhibition curated by The Bethlem Gallery, a professional platform for artists who have experienced mental health problems.
Mind is hoping Londoners accept the challenge of reaching out to people in the community. Even a small gesture such as purchasing a gift from the Mind pop up shop in the Southbank Centre could make a huge difference to someone who is feeling alone.
Gill Dibben, Shop Manager at the Mind Shop in Stoke Newington who is running the pop up shop, says: “Even at Christmas, surrounded by friends and family, going through a mental health problem can be a very lonely experience. Many of us feel like there’s nowhere to turn or that other people won’t understand.
“Sometimes it is the little things that can make a person feel supported and less lonely and we need help from Londoners to make sure no one has to face a mental health problem alone this Christmas. Many of us buy a huge number of presents at Christmas, but by purchasing just one gift from Mind’s pop up shop at The Southbank Centre you can help the 1 in 4 people each year who will experience a mental health problem. By passing on your gift to someone you know who might be feeling low, you can help Mind to light up Christmas for everyone.”
Each gift purchased will go twice as far in supporting anyone with a mental health problem since money raised at the pop up shop will fund the charity’s work such as Mind’s free Infoline, information and advice services. More than 20 per cent of funds will directly support local Minds in England and Wales, which deliver care and support for people experiencing mental health problems.