This week has been Mental Health Awareness Week, and Pennies wanted to highlight a few charities, supported by our partnering retailers, who work this week and every week to support and improve our mental health.

Pennies is proud to be able to support Mental Health Foundation, who are leading the 2020 Mental Health Awareness Week with an emphasis on the power of kindness. They are supported by our partner retailer Zizzi, who have managed to raise over £51,000 for them in a matter of months from more than 200,000 micro-donations.

Mental Health Foundation focuses on prevention; their knowledge gained from intense research and practical based study has been pioneering change for over 70 years. They are not afraid to challenge the status quo and tackle difficult and under researched issues.

Pennies has also supported regional branches of mental health charity Mind.  Pizza and cider fans dining at branches of The Stable have been making micro-donations in support of Dorset Mind since 2018, while shoppers at Voisins department store in Jersey supported  Mind Jersey with their Pennies donations in from June 2019 to May 2020.

Collectively almost £30,000 has been raised  for these charities to tackle mental health issues. Mind campaigns to reduce stigma and increase understanding about mental health and mental illness. Their vision is of a society that promotes good mental health for all and treats people with experience of mental illness fairly, positively and with respect.

Additionally, Pennies supports charities through partnering retailers that  often play an integral role in helping individuals cope with extremely life altering changes, changes that can be detrimental to one’s mental health. Drake & Morgan, and previously Rontec, have helped raise over £140,000 for cancer charity Maggie’s from almost half a million micro-donations. Maggie’s offer free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends, through their network of innovative support centres, built in the grounds of NHS hospitals.

Vicky, a recipient of Maggie’s services shared her experience:

“I remember the first time I went to the centre… I just burst into tears; it felt like everyone was there to help me…. I can’t imagine how I would have got through the exhaustion of chemo and the pain and worry of those operations without Maggie’s.”

Maggie’s centres are currently closed due to the coronavirus crisis, but they are still available to offer support on the phone and online.

Previously, our retail partner Adnams supported Nelson’s Journey, a charity that endeavours to support children aged 17 and under in Norfolk with the loss of a loved one. Customers at Adnams’ Cellar & Kitchen Stores raised £11,000 in just 3 months for Nelson’s Journey,  supporting their vision to give every bereaved child in Norfolk the support they need to move forward positively with their lives, never having to cope with their loss alone.

Mental health is an under-represented cause, with those suffering often stigmatised by society. Pennies is honoured to work with retailers who see the importance of tackling and bringing awareness to mental health issues. While some of our retailers who support these important charities are currently inactive due to the coronavirus, we look forward to the day when doors reopen, when customers can donate again, and we can continue to support these brilliant causes.

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