Multinational banking and financial services company, Societe Generale, has chosen Mind, the mental health charity, as its seventh Charity of the Year. This will be the charity’s first major financial partner and will help to promote mental health awareness in the sector.
Voted for by Societe Generale’s employees, the two-year partnership aims to raise £600,000 for Mind through fundraising activities across the UK Group.
In addition, a key objective for both organisations will be to promote mental health and wellbeing at home and in the workplace. Societe General plan to utilise Mind’s expertise to help improve working practices.
The partnership began with a launch at Societe Generale’s UK head office in London, where staff heard from Mind ambassador Rohan Kallicharan who shared his experience of living with bipolar disorder. Societe Generale Chief Country Officer, Ian Fisher, and HR Director of Operations, Ben Higgins, then spoke of the company’s commitment to supporting the wellbeing of its employees and the enthusiasm for the Mind partnership. Mind Chief Executive, Paul Farmer, talked about the charity’s vital work and the difference support from staff will make to people with mental health problems.
During this launch month, staff are also looking forward to benefitting from a number wellbeing activities including yoga sessions, a mindfulness masterclass delivered by City & Hackney Mind and a lunch and learn to raise awareness of mental health.
Paul Farmer, Mind’s Chief Executive, said: “We’re delighted to have been chosen by Societe Generale staff as Charity of the Year. Societe Generale’s support will mean that Mind can continue providing vital services, like our Infoline, so people can make their own choices and access the treatment and support that is right for them. This partnership will help us make sure no one has to face a mental health problem alone.”
Kate Ashworth, Head of CSR UK at Societe Generale said: “It was clear from the staff vote that Mind is a charity which resonated with staff. We know that one in four people will experience a mental health problem this year, and countless more will be affected through friends, family, work colleagues and other people in their lives. We hope to raise vital funds for Mind, and increase mental health awareness amongst our staff.”
Societe Generale has a full calendar of fundraising events planned for staff including runs, treks, cycle challenges, the inaugural Dragon Boat Race and the ever popular Midnight marathon walk around London.
Societe Generale staff will also be sharing their time and expertise through volunteering to support Mind’s network of local Minds, which deliver services including advocacy and counselling, across England and Wales.
The money raised by Societe Generale’s partnership will support the ‘Advice to Action’ campaign, helping people with mental health problems to get back on track. This will enable Mind to answer tens of thousands of queries to their Infoline, as well as funding new projects for people with mental health problems to get support, build confidence and find employment in their communities.