5 October 2020. Bracknell, UK.
Science-based technology company 3M has donated £10,000 to Woking Mind to support a new Community Wellbeing programme providing telephone and online support services for adults struggling with their mental health.
This has enabled the charity to train 60 new volunteers and supervisors to run an innovative new programme that works in partnership with local GPs who refer patients that need specialist mental health support services.
The grant from 3M was enabled through a partnership with not-for-profit organisation United Way UK through its Give Local COVID-19 Response Programme. This is helping small charities working on the frontline to provide relief services to support vulnerable people in areas most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The charity, which is based in Courtenay Road, Woking, is one of more than 100 federated local Mind charities that provide a safe, welcoming space to support adults living with mental health difficulties, helping them to live more independent and fulfilling lives. They provide a wide range of services, including drop-in sessions and specialist peer support groups.
The large majority of services are usually delivered face to face, but in the current circumstances these are now done remotely. The funding from 3M is contributing to the costs of the Community Wellbeing programme, providing the capacity for a minimum of 600 additional calls a month.
Chief executive of Woking Mind, Tony Bennett, commented: “We want to say a huge thank you to 3M and United Way for this opportunity. Mental health is an area that has been particularly badly affected by the pandemic and this will only increase in the months to come. People are facing tough times and uncertainty.
“There was pressure on the provision of mental health services before the pandemic, so we had to find new ways to support those who are struggling but unable to access our usual face-to-face services. We took inspiration from 3M as an innovative company not afraid to try out new things.”
The new service has already proved very successful in joining up local mental health services and reaching more people across all of Surrey and Berkshire.
Said Tony: “Some people are so anxious that they are not able to leave home to get help. With our new online and phone service they have been able to engage and talk with others about their challenges. This has worked so well that we will continue offering online services in combination with face-to-face in the future. We also see the potential for this programme to be replicated in other areas of the UK.
“The service is run by fully qualified counsellors and talented and energetic volunteers who really want to make a difference. As well as taking referrals from GPs, we focus on finding ways to connect with groups that can be hard to reach, such as those from ethnic minorities and the LGBTQ+ community. If anyone in the area feels lonely and isolated or is concerned about their mental health and wellbeing, or of someone they care about, they can contact Woking Mind on 07860 340739.”
Said 3M’s Reputation Communications manager, Ros Smith: “Lots of people in the UK are facing hardship as well as personal and emotional challenges and the need for financial and practical support has never been more acute.
“We are grateful to United Way for making the connections and identifying the charities, like Woking Mind, that are most in need of our support and working tirelessly to help those who are less fortunate to improve their quality of life.”
Jane Hudson Jones, CEO at United Way UK added: “This pandemic means inequalities are increasing, financially, educationally and in health too. We are grateful to everyone in this partnership and especially to 3M for its leadership. The 3M grant will allow United Way UK and its local partner charities to support those that are most at risk from COVID-19 and its wider consequences, addressing global problems at a community level.
These local organisations are doing excellent work assisting many of the most vulnerable groups in their communities. They have significant local intelligence and expertise and their services provide a lifeline for people who are struggling. Their work is invaluable, though often invisible, meaning that they do not attract donations easily, putting the sustainability of their critical services at risk.
We are deeply thankful to 3M for its commitment to local communities, through these grants you are taking a holistic response to the COVID-19 crisis and really making a difference.”
The donation to Woking Mind is part of a £112,000 grant pledged by 3M to support relief projects in the UK. Around two thirds of the grant is being allocated to community projects through the 3M-United Way UK Give Local COVID-19 Response Programme. More than 200 charities applied to receive a grant and the programme team chose three to each receive grants of £10,000 based on rigorous assessments and prioritising those with the greatest field expertise, impact capacity and efficiency. A further 11 charities will receive grants of between £3,000 and £5,000.
This, in turn, is part of a $1.875 million commitment made by 3M at a corporate level, working with The United Way Worldwide to identify local projects supporting those most in need.
At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $32 billion in sales, our 96,000 employees connect with customers all around the world.
The UK is home to one of the largest 3M subsidiaries outside the USA, employing 2,250 people across 16 locations, including six manufacturing sites.
Products manufactured in the UK include coated abrasives, personal safety equipment, adhesive tapes and industrial microbiology products.
Learn more about 3M's creative solutions to the world's problems at 3M.co.uk or follow @3MUK on Twitter.
About United Way
United Way Worldwide is a privately-funded not-for-profit organisation based in the US with a network spanning more than 40 countries and territories across six continents. It serves 61 million people across the globe, supported by 2.9 million volunteers and 8.3 million donors.
In the UK, United Way UK was established in 2014 as a national charity with the aim of providing support to local communities to ensure every family and every individual can reach their full potential through good education, financial stability, and healthy lives. As part of United Way Worldwide, United Way UK encourages people and organisations to support the local communities in which they live, work, and raise their children, through recognising each community's specific needs, resources and expertise.
Learn more about United Way UK at unitedway.org.uk or follow @UnitedWayUK on Twitter.
3M is a trademark of the 3M Company.