We did it! – SWR Mind is saved from the brink of closure with just hours to go
30 June 2015
We are delighted to announce that we have been saved from closure, with just 24 hours to spare, after an overwhelming flood of £10,000 donations were made by people touched by our heart-breaking fight for survival. We faced closure after a shortfall of £20,000 left us unable to continue operating into the next financial quarter.
In just six weeks, we received £25,786 in cash which is still coming in from people, businesses and organisations from across Yorkshire and beyond wanting to donate to our Save SWR Mind Crisis Appeal.
With just 24 hours to go on Thursday night (28 May), we still had £4,000 left to raise but this figure was smashed by people’s generosity, moving our staff, who had been placed on redundancy notice, to tears of joy.
Hundreds of people, businesses and organisations donated via Just Giving, text message and cheques, some did fund-raisers while others turned up at our office in Scarborough with envelopes of cash or made bank transfers so we could continue to stay open after Friday’s (29 May) deadline.
Despite having existed as an independent charity on the Yorkshire Coast for more than 50 years, we had hit a financial crisis due to cuts in funding and falling donations at a time when our services are needed more than ever. We have to raise our own money to support people in the local community and we do not receive any money from charity shops or national Mind who we are only affiliated to in name.
Best-selling author and screenwriter GP Taylor from Scarborough broke his silence about his own battle with severe depression that led him to almost take his own life and of how the we gave him life-saving support along with around 1,000 other people every year that we also help with mental illnesses. “The charity is a lifeline for so many people and it was terrifying that it could have closed. Mental illness can affect anyone at any time during their lives and I’m delighted this charity can carry on its life-saving work. Please support them if you can.”
Our campaign on social media also went viral on Twitter with a whole host of celebrities tweeting their support using the hashtag #saveswrmind.
Some people and businesses have pledged to support us long term. But we are still desperate for more and we urge anyone who can help or who would like to fund-raise to get in touch.
The trustees met on Monday and agreed the charity’s future is secured until September 2015, allowing us time to put in funding bids and other plans in place. However we are still desperately in need of further funds to continue long term.
We’ve been simply overwhelmed and moved to tears by people’s generosity. All the funds will be used to continue helping change local people’s lives and we are incredibly grateful for every single penny which will all go to directly helping people living in our community. Mental health charities are among the least popular choices for donations, despite mental health affecting 1 in 4 of us and at a time when there are less and less services for people to access. We were in a desperate situation which was very distressing for all the people we work with as well as those who are employed or volunteer for the charity.
As a charity we need to find £250,000 every year to sustain ourselves, employing 17 staff supported by 60 volunteers who work with some of the most vulnerable people in society, some who have nowhere else to turn to, are suicidal and with no hope left. Thanks to your donations we can continue helping people with our one to one Side by Side Service, our support groups in Whitby and Scarborough, our daytime telephone helpline as well as giving people much needed assistance with finance, debt, housing and volunteering opportunities. We will continue to need donations but with your help we can ensure nobody ever has to suffer with mental illness alone.”
Around 40,000 people – that's one in four people living in Scarborough Whitby and Ryedale - will experience mental health difficulties at some time in their lives. We are the only charity in the area to undertake outreach work and take urgent referrals from other services for people suffering from illnesses including anxiety, depression, lifelong illnesses such as Bipolar and Schizophrenia, and those experiencing psychosis or battling an eating disorder.
In return for donations from businesses, we can offer mental health awareness training, workshops and drop in surgeries for employers.
People can continue to donate to us here on our website, our Just Giving page www.justgiving.com/swrmind or by texting SWRM22 with the amount they want to donate in £ to 70070.
You can also send a cheque made payable to Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale Mind, PO Box 304, Scarborough, YO11 3YJ.