M&S Linlithgow Launches The Big Fun-Raiser For YoungMinds Mental Health Support

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M&S Linlithgow has completed a week-long ‘Fun-raiser’ and raised over £1,000 so far, for YoungMinds, the leading mental health charity for young people.

The store is one of over 360 M&S stores across the UK taking on a ‘fun-raising’ challenge to raise awareness and much needed funds for those struggling with their mental health. The Linlithgow team cycled 500 miles – the equivalent of the North Coast 500 – on a static bike, meanwhile store colleagues April Barclay also recently completed 60 laps of Knockhill Racing Circuit to add £145 to the store’s fundraising pot. Customers can donate in-store or via the M&S website here. Another colleague to take part, Michelle Davidson, knows first-hand the positive impact the charity can have, having previously received support from YoungMinds.Michelle said: “When I started working for M&S I was delighted to learn of their partnership with YoungMinds, a charity very close to my heart. I personally have received support from them whilst my son was awaiting his neurodiversity assessments, as his mental health was significantly impacted. I came across YoungMinds online as I was searching for help and they helped me to help my son, something I will always be grateful for. They have a parent helpline where you can get in touch for advice and support. There is also online support and advice you can read on their website and social pages. I am proud to have been involved in this recent fundraising event and look forward to taking part in many more in the future.” The Big Fun-raiser is part of M&S’ partnership with YoungMinds, announced last October and aiming to raise £5million over the next three years to support young people’s mental health. This will enable YoungMinds to support seven million young people and the adults in their lives through easy to access online resources and its dedicated Parent’s Helpline. Brian Torley, Store Manager at M&S Linlithgow, said: “At Linlithgow we’re proud to be supporting M&S on its fun-raising mission to provide mental health support to young people across the country. It’s been great to work together to complete the equivalent of the North Coast 500 and we’d like to thank all our customers for their support and generosity. There is still time to donate and if anyone has a young person in their life, take a look at the support YoungMinds can offer online or ask a member of our team for more information.” To kick-start the partnership, M&S made a £1 million donation last October, and the generosity of customers and colleagues has raised an additional £700,000 so far. M&S also announced that 5p from the sale of every loaf in its Farmhouse loaf range would be donated to YoungMinds. The popular Farmhouse range is comprised of five different loaves and now has updated packaging to highlight the donation.Laura Bunt, Chief Executive of YoungMinds, said: “Life is increasingly tough for young people and record numbers are in need of support for their mental health. When they’re able to access the help they need, things can get better, but the wait for support is often too long or the right support isn’t available. Together with M&S, we want to show young people that together we can turn things around. The incredible fundraising efforts by M&S will help us reach and support more young people and the adults in their lives.” Research commissioned last year by M&S and Young Minds found that despite struggling with their mental health, 65% of young people hadn’t asked for any kind of formal support – 33% of those said they felt too embarrassed.While loneliness was found to be the primary cause of mental health problems among the young people surveyed, 61% of those waiting for mental health support said they had stopped attending school, college, university or work – risking greater isolation form their friends.

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