The two-year charity of the year partnership launched in January 2013 with the aim of raising awareness of, and money to support, Mind which exists to make sure anyone with a mental health problem has somewhere to turn for advice and support.
In February 2014 a team of 12 staff from MoneySuperMarket tackled Mount Killimanjaro, raising £47,000 alone; while other energetic fundraising efforts undertaken by staff included the Tough Mudder challenge, Royal Parks Half Marathons and the Major Series.
Clare Francis is Editor-in-Chief at Money Supermarket, and encouraged her colleagues at MoneySuperMarket to choose Mind as its charity of the year. Clare’s husband, Mark Hanson, took his own life after a 13-year battle with depression and anxiety and since then, she has thrown herself into raising awareness of Mind’s work in a bid to help others avoid her pain.
Clare, who intends to continue supporting Mind, says: “Raising money for Mind is something that means a lot to me personally, and I am absolutely thrilled that we were able to smash our fundraising target. There’s still a huge stigma around suicide. Mark didn’t want people to know about his illness because he saw it as a weakness and thought they’d think less of him and he was worried that it would affect his career prospects.
“This sort of thinking is a strain those suffering with mental illness shouldn’t have to bear. We’ll never know if telling people about his illness could have saved Mark, but I firmly believe that better awareness and understanding of mental illness is essential if we are to break down the stigma and show those suffering that they will be supported and helped.
“Raising more than four times as much money as we have ever raised for charity shows just how much Mind’s work, and the subject of mental health resonated with everybody at MoneySuperMarket.”
More than one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year in the UK and Kathleen Miles, Director of Fundraising at Mind says: “We’re delighted to have had such engaging an enthusiastic support from MoneySuperMarket and are so proud of everything we have achieved as charity of the year. Money raised will fund our work such as the Mind Infoline, information and advice services, and the campaigning Mind does to secure a better deal for the one in four people who experience a mental health problem every year.”
“One of the most engaging and important aspects of the partnership has been the enthusiasm and willingness of MoneySuperMarket staff not only to get involved in fundraising activity, but also to open up about their own experiences and help us in raising awareness of mental health.”
Support from MoneySupermarket comes at a time when demand for Mind’s free Infoline has risen by 55 per cent in two years. Since 2012 the number of people contacting the Mind Infoline for advice and support has risen from 51,300 to 79,600 (55%). As more and more people ask for urgent help, the charity needs continued support to ensure it can meet this sharp increase. At present it is unable to answer 25 per cent of calls that come in during open timings and 56 per cent of calls overall.