Be Wellbeing, the new trading arm of North East charity Tyneside and Northumberland Mind, has received £150,000 investment from the North East Social Investment Fund, managed by Northstar Ventures.
The funding will be used to set up the Be Wellbeing Centre at MEA House in Newcastle City Centre. Be will offer services that focus on improving mental health, such as workplace wellbeing programmes and individual counselling sessions. It will also provide a venue for the delivery of training programmes for mental health professionals and employers, which Tyneside Mind has developed.
Launched in 1986, Tyneside and Northumberland Mind has grown steadily over the last three decades and now operates programmes across the whole of Tyneside and Northumberland. Newcastle city centre is one of the few areas where the charity had not previously established a permanent base.
The new centre will be pivotal in addressing the needs of local people and local businesses, while the charity continues to deliver counselling services for local authorities. Andrew Howie, Chief Executive of the Be Wellbeing Centre, said: “According to NHS research, 1 in 4 adults will experience a mental health problem each year. It is important to challenge stigmas surrounding mental health and we want to bring mental wellbeing programmes into the corporate environment.
“Businesses are becoming more switched on to the cost – both in terms of employees’ health and financially – of stress in the workplace. The training and support that we are going to be able to offer through the Be Wellbeing Centre has the potential to dramatically improve employee wellbeing across the region.
“By investing in the mental health of their employees, businesses can reduce absenteeism, improve work performance and, most importantly, build a happier workforce.”
The investment has allowed Tyneside Mind to establish Be Wellbeing as a trading subsidiary, with the aim of generating additional revenue streams to support the charity’s other activities.
Peter Gilson, Investment Manager at Northstar Ventures, said: “Tyneside Mind has a long history of supporting people across the North East who are struggling with mental health issues. The launch of Be Wellbeing is an exciting step and we’re pleased to have been able to support the organisation with its latest venture.”
The North East Social Investment Fund is a £10.2m fund set up to support charities and social enterprises across the North East of England, where they might not be able to secure finance from traditional lenders.