It’s time for me to talk about something very close to my heart. Just over three weeks ago I met an amazing group of people through a program I am doing over the summer called National Citizen Service. We went on two 5-day residentials, one covering adventure activities and one covering skill related activities. At the start of the program we were sorted into 3 teams that we would remain in for all team activities for the entirety of the program. Over these two weeks we were able to work out our strengths within a team, in order to prepare ourselves for a social action project.
We decided to make our social action project about mental health awareness, because we felt it was a very relevant topic that everyone would be able to connect to and feel passionate about. We selected our charity to donate our fundraising money to, which is Rethink Mental Illness, a charity that aims to support mentally ill people and their families through difficult times, as well as helping to combat the many stereotypes and the stigma that surrounds mental health.
We plan to do this by holding bake sales, doing bag packing in local supermarkets, hosting a charity football match and doing a 13.2 mile sponsored walk. Hopefully this will give us many opportunities to interact with the public and make them more aware of the many types of and the spectrum of ways mental health can affect people. I know that I have learnt so much already from starting this campaign, especially about being more aware and informed about mental health. So many people I know have stories that I never would have known about by looking at them at a first glance. We have designed a banner for all of our campaign leaflets which looks like this:
We also decided that we would hand craft 50 boxes to donate to Rethink, affectionately designed and named by us as “Pal Packs.” These boxes will contain items to comfort and support the mentally ill in their darkest hours. With items including small bottles of dried lavender, the scent of which is known to have calming properties; inspirational quotes; hand painted worry stones and a personal, hand signed reassurance message in each, we hope to make someone’s day when they need it the most. These boxes will be about shoe box size, some of which we were lucky enough to have had donated by Clarks and Pavers, which we were very grateful for 🙂
It would be absolutely wonderful if you could check out our Facebook page and give us a like and share, and even better if you could donate something, however small, to our JustGiving account 🙂 We can see that we are making a huge impact in our local community already, with stories being shared and people reaching out to us to ask to help out and support the campaign.
Currently, we are sharing a new mental health story everyday at 5pm British Time and giving lots of updates on fundraisers and what we are doing daily to build the campaign.
It is so important to talk about mental health, because the more we keep it bottled up, the worse the problem becomes. Just know that you are never alone and there will always be someone to talk to.
Thank you for all of your support,