Posted: by Jo Friday, 30 April 2021 @ 11:01
Inspired to be their best selves
Over the last 4 years, we have been running
our #mybestself campaign, to learn from different women about what makes
them step up to be their best self in any given situation.
In 2021, we decided to focus on a
particular audience, to understand what drives them: the women and men who set
up or work in the charities which we support through our ‘Mantra Changes Lives’
initiative. Does it take a particular kind of person to
devote their working life to helping people? Is it a calling? Or did an event
occur in their lives which drew them to this work?
I’m sure we will get 12 different answers
from 12 different people, and I am fascinated to find out what those answers
are. Stay with me through the year as I interview some remarkable people who
work in the charitable or not-for-profit sector, who are changing lives every
day. They are people who have truly stepped up to be their best selves.
One of our long-standing charity partners is Mind.
I was excited to find out more about what
drew Katie, Senior Community Fundraising Officer, to work for the mental health
charity Mind; what drives her day-to-day through the inevitable difficulties
and challenges; and what her greatest desire is for the charity in 2021 and
Jo: Tell me a little about the charity’s aims?
Katie: Mind is one
of the UK’s leading mental health charities and our core mission is that we
won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support
and respect. We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a
mental health problem, and we campaign to improve services, raise awareness and
Jo: And tell me – what
was it that prompted you to join Mind?
Katie: Ever since I joined secondary school, I was always drawn to subjects that looked at the psychology of the human mind, and how it influences everything from our behaviour, relationships, thoughts and emotions.
This inspired me to study Psychology at University, and I found social and cognitive psychology particular interesting which looked a lot at mental health and disorders. I had also grown up with a parent who suffered with a long-term alcohol addiction problem which significantly affected his depression and sadly led to him passing away at the early age of 48.
This experience impacted me a lot as a young person and motivated me to want to understand more about mental health, and work for a cause that looked to break down stigma and offer support to those struggling with mental health problems on a wider scale.
Jo: What does the charity hope to achieve 2021, and longer term?
Katie: As we start
to feel the impact of coronavirus on ours and our loved ones’ mental health, it
is incredibly important that we as a charity take action now, as the demand for
our vital support and services grows more and more.
More than half of
adults (60%) and over two thirds of young people (68%) said their mental health
got worse during lockdown, in a survey we carried out during the first lockdown.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, we built and launched our Coronavirus Information
Hub, which has received over 1.7 million views since its launch in March; and
our new information resources for children and young people have been viewed
over 62,000 times.
We’re now focused
on supporting people aged 11 and over, as we have become an all age charity, so
this is a real focus for 2021.
Our work will
always respond to the needs and preferences of people with mental health
problems. We put people first - so our work isn’t defined by mental health
diagnoses. We are also committed to anti-racism.
Jo: There must be innumerable challenges – logistical,
political, financial, emotional – to delivering on the charity’s aims,
especially now with the impact of Covid. How do you stay motivated and focused,
through all of that?
Katie: Put simply –
because of our incredible Mind supporters and fundraisers!!! I am lucky enough
to support hundreds of passionate individuals who reach out to support Mind in
various ways, whether it be through taking on an active challenge such as a marathon,
supporting through businesses such as yourselves at Mantra Jewellery, and hosting music events,
football events, gaming events - the list goes on.
The beating heart
of Mind are our dedicated supporters and the inspirational individuals that
work here. Over 50% of Mind’s workforce have lived experience of mental health
issues, which is incredibly important when informing our work and representing
the people we support from all walks of life. The influx of people reaching out
to support and help to fund our mental health work during such a crucial time
has been incredible.
Jo: Did you plan, when you set out in your career, that this is
what you would be doing?
Katie: I always
knew that it was important for me to find a career in the charity/not for
profit sector that gave back to communities and that had alignment with a cause
I felt passionate about. Despite not being sure on the exact direction it would
take me, I found a real love for fundraising whilst studying at University
which led me to explore jobs in the charity sector. After getting my foot in
the door with supporting student fundraising at my University, I then applied
for a Community Fundraising role at Mind and love my job.
Jo: Do you have a mantra, or positive phrase, that you live your
Katie: You make a
living from what you get, and a life from what you give
Our Mantra Collaboration
We are helping to support Mind’s vital work,
by donating 25% of the sales of our ‘Strength’ Disc Necklace to Mind.
Its mantra, ‘I am strong enough to stand
alone, but wise enough to ask for help’, goes right to the heart of Mind’s
mission, to provide help and support to people struggling, but to also take
away the stigma of asking for help.
This month, there is a chance to win one of
our ‘Strength’ necklaces. Visit our Competition page to find out how to enter. .
One lucky winner will win a ‘Strength’
Necklace in the colour of their choice. Competition closes at midnight on
Monday May 31st. One winner will be chosen at random from across our
social platforms, on Tuesday June 1st.