This partnership forms part of Barclays' £100m COVID-19 Community Aid Package, created to support charities that are helping people and communities most impacted by Coronavirus. Alongside a colleague-matched fundraising initiative and the £10m pledged through their 100x100 Programme, Barclays is donating funds to charity partners across the UK, Americas, Asia and Europe – such as Mind – to ensure help reaches those who need it most.
Barclays’ donation comes at a crucial time for Mind, as the coronavirus pandemic is having a huge impact on our mental health. A recent survey by the charity found that two thirds of adults over 25 and three quarters of young people aged 13-24 with an existing mental health problem, reported worse mental health during lockdown. In the same survey, more than one in five adults with no previous experience of poor mental health now says that their mental health is poor or very poor.
Demand for the mental health services provided by Mind and local Minds has been unprecedented during the pandemic, with more than a million and a half views of the charity’s online information on coronavirus and mental health, and a surge in the number of people seeking support through the online community, since the crisis began.
Barclays’ donation will help Mind’s online peer support community, providing a safe place for adults to talk about their mental health problems and connect with others who understand what they’re going through. The partnership will support the transition to a new digital platform - ‘Side by Side’ – which will better support users, and enable the service to meet the anticipated increase in demand.
The partnership will also highlight the link between money and mental health, and support people experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic, through Mind’s 'Investing in Mental Health Programme'. This will support the most vulnerable people in communities across England and Wales with mental health problems to stay well, by alleviating financial difficulty, providing accessible online information and resources about the link between mental health and money, and offering locally-delivered advice and support services on Welfare and Benefits.
Nigel Higgins, Barclays Chairman, said: “COVID-19 has created an unprecedented social and economic impact in the UK, with many experiencing greater hardship due to the crisis. Incredible charities such as Mind have been playing a vital role in the UK’s response to the pandemic, ensuring urgent help reaches those most in need of support. As a bank we have been doing all we can for our customers, clients and colleagues, and we hope that by partnering with Mind and many other charities across the UK, collectively we can ensure that as many people as possible in the communities in which we live and work are supported through this crisis.”
Kathleen Miles, Director of Fundraising at Mind, said: “We are delighted to be working with Barclays at a time when coronavirus is detrimentally affecting so many people’s mental health. Barclays' support means we can digitally transform our online service Side by Side, helping people to stay connected and support each other in a time of increased uncertainty. The partnership will also enable us to launch a vital new programme, Investing in Mental Health, which will support people with mental health problems facing financial difficulties. Worrying about money can impact on your mental health, and mental health problems can impact your finances.
“Barclays is helping us get one step closer to ensuring that everyone with a mental health problem receives advice, support and respect.”