Mental health support services in England and Wales are to receive a significant boost thanks to a generous £250,000 grant from Masonic Charitable Foundation, in support of mental health charity Mind and its emergency appeal. Donations to support Mind and local Mind services now matter more than ever, particularly because the current situation is affecting the nation’s mental health.
Demand for the mental health services provided by Mind and the local Mind groups have been unprecedented during the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than a million people accessing its online information on COVID-19 and mental health, and a surge in the number of people seeking support through its online community since the crisis began.
This surge in demand comes as social distancing measures have meant that other vital services usually conducted face-to-face by local Mind groups, such as counselling, cannot be delivered.
Mind’s income has been affected by the outbreak of COVID-19, largely due to the closure of its 160 charity shops across England and Wales, and the cancellation or postponement of major fundraising events, including the Virgin Money London Marathon.
The grant provided by the Freemasons will support a range of services, both nationally and locally, helping to improve accessibility in order to reach as many people in need as possible. The grant from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
In response to the extraordinary need created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Freemasons is providing special funding of £2.75 million for projects helping those who are particularly affected by the virus. This extra money comes on top of the estimated £45 million given to charity every year by Freemasons.
Kathleen Miles, director of fundraising at Mind, said that: ‘We’re so grateful to the Freemasons for their generous donation to our emergency appeal. We’re facing huge demand for our advice and information about staying well and looking after your mental health.
‘This grant will make sure we can not only keep our vital services running, especially those delivered by local Mind groups, but will also allow us to expand to meet growing need, and help pick up the pieces when things start to return to normal.’
David Innes, chief executive of the Masonic Charitable Foundation, said that: ‘Mind is helping hundreds of thousands of people with mental health issues now more than ever, and I’m very pleased that Freemasons are able to support their hugely important work. This is an essential part of the support we’ve been giving to vulnerable people across England and Wales who are in difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.’
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