After a fantastic two years, Mind’s partnership with Societe Generale (SG) came to an end in February 2017 having raised over £750,000 to support the ‘Advice to Action’ campaign - £150,000 more than the initial fundraising target!
SG’s support has enabled Mind to answer almost 40,000 queries to our helpline providing advice and information so that people can choose the support that feels right for them. It has funded 21 local Mind projects for people with mental health problems to get support, build confidence and find employment in their communities. These projects have ranged from a kitchen garden at Tameside, Oldham and Glossop Mind to Plymouth and District Mind’s ‘Get Into’ project that offers 1-to-1 specialist and personalised support to individuals for whom their mental health problems and associated stigma are a barrier to getting into work, training or volunteering.
Paul, 23, a local Plymouth resident, felt ‘Get Into’ made a significant impact on his life:
The sessions helped me to look at things in a more positive way. I was given techniques to use to challenge my own negative thinking and this week I applied for a job. I’ve been out of work for a long time because of my depression, but I feel ready to face the world again.
Additional funds raised by Societe Generale, over the £600,000 target, will continue to support Mind’s helplines, as well as fund at least seven projects in local communities, which will help people with mental health issues move closer or back in to employment.
SG hit the streets, the mountains and the water to raise funds for Mind. Over 100 colleagues, and our very own CEO Paul Farmer CBE, pounded the pavements of London on a 26.2 mile overnight walking marathon that raised £94,000; 88 colleagues hit the water in a dragon boat racing contest raising almost £30,000; 25 colleagues raised £20,000 when they braved the night to reach the summit of Snowden for sunrise; and 600 participants raised £90,000 at the JP Morgan Challenge over two years.
Not only has SG raised £750,000 to support Mind’s work, their staff have provided additional volunteering support worth over £50,000 including workshops for local Mind creative therapies groups at the V&A, Excel training sessions, and advice from SG communications and marketing teams on local Mind’s marketing strategies. In addition, SG colleagues gave 448 volunteering hours to the Mind retail challenge, and SG summer interns dedicated 496 hours supporting Mind research projects.
Luke attended an Excel training session run by SG: “I would like to thank Societe Generale for the Microsoft Excel training session to which I was invited as a part of a group from Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest…James walked us slowly, carefully and patiently through the introduction to Microsoft Excel…I enjoyed myself and now feel much more confident about finding my own way around the programme.”
Paul Farmer CBE, Mind CEO, said: “We are astounded at the support of Societe Generale staff over the past two years, beating their fundraising target by over £150,000! A huge thank you to everyone who has fundraised, started conversations about mental health and shared their skills to support Mind. Your support has, and will, make a difference to the lives of thousands of people who are experiencing mental health problems, their friends and their families.”
Sadia Ricke, Group Country Head for Societe Generale in the UK, said: “Building stronger communities is a key pillar in our approach to corporate social responsibility, and we are delighted that thousands of people have and will benefit from essential support towards improved mental wellbeing through Mind’s Infoline, and other key projects that will emerge following our two-year partnership with the charity. We also hope to have raised awareness and to help lift the stigma associated with mental health, which is especially important when we know one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem in any given year. We are delighted to have exceeded our fundraising target, and congratulate all the Mind networks for the tremendous work they do.”
Find out more about the Mind and Societe Generale's partnership and the projects it has funded here.