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Co-op Funeral Homes and Food Stores in Merseyside fundraise for MIND, Mental Health Charity

ByJessica Edwards

May 8, 2021

Southport Co-op teams took part in a Sunrise Walk

Co-op Funeralcare in Formby, along with Formby and Ainsdale Co-op food stores and seven funeral homes across the Southport region, embarked on a 12km sunrise walk on Sunday 23rd May 2021 to raise awareness for mental health charity, MIND.

The walk, organised by Formby Funeralcare colleagues Sarah Leader, Ragan Gally and Deborah Hall, was joined by twenty other Co-op colleagues with friends and family. Setting off at 4:30 am on Ainsdale beach, the group completed a loop walk along the sandy shores that led back to the finish at the Co-op in Ainsdale. The team will continue to collect donations over the next two weeks until Friday 4th June, aiming to raise a total of £1,000 to help support the important work that MIND carry out across the country.

Funeral Arranger, Sarah Leader, said: At Co-op Funeralcare, we are very proud to support MIND in their work to provide advice and support to anyone experiencing a mental health problem. The sunrise is a beautiful metaphor for coming out of a dark place, mentally, and gaining a positive outlook.”

“It was wonderful to all come together, as lockdown restrictions have eased, to raise awareness and funds for this great charity. The walk displayed Co-op’s team spirit and togetherness during these turbulent times and symbolised the start of a new day. Even though it was a challenging walk in parts, it was well worth it to experience a beautiful sunrise together while raising funds for our charity partner. Thank you to all those who joined!”

To show their support for MIND, colleagues at nearby Co-op Funeralcare Kirkby took part in a sponsored static cycle on 14 May, raising a total of £700 for the charity. The team, who are based at Newtown Gardens, cycled 100km, which formed part of the activity taking place across the UK to highlight Mental Health Awareness Week. The local community in Kirkby came out to support the fundraising event and were greeted by Disney duo, Minnie and Mickey Mouse, who were collecting donations.

Recent research released by Co-op Funeralcare and YouGov last week has highlighted that the pandemic has changed the nation’s attitude towards grief and death, as the tragic events of the past year have made 22% of UK adults feel more comfortable in talking about grief and encouraged 54% to think about their own mortality.

Although grief isn’t a mental health problem, experiencing a bereavement can have a significant impact on individuals mental health. Sadly, 28% of those who lost a loved one unexpectedly said the unforeseen nature of the loss had a negative impact on their mental health.

Before the second UK lockdown, 77% of UK adults felt they had enough support around them from their friends and family if further lockdown measures were announced. However, just 66% felt they had the right amount of support during the third UK lockdown, with 48% stating they found the third lockdown worse than any of the other previous UK lockdowns.

Sam Tyrer, Managing Director of Co-op Funeralcare, said: “It’s important that we take time to reflect on the devastating impact the tragic events of the past year have had on the nation. Communities have experienced loss on a previously unimaginable scale, so it is crucial for us to ensure adequate support is available as society begins to enter a new normality.”

Since October 2019, Co-op has partnered with mental health charities, MIND and SAMH, the Scottish Association for Mental Health and inspire to bring communities together to improve mental wellbeing. In that time, Co-op’s colleagues, members and customers have fundraised over £4.5million to support new mental wellbeing services across the UK, all whilst raising awareness and starting the conversation around the importance of mental wellbeing.

To donate towards the Southport Sunrise Walk, use the donation buckets in store or sign up on Co-op’s sponsor forms. Direct donations can also be made out to:

  • Payee: R&M Galley, Acct: 35751266, Sort Code: 60-20-11
  • Please place your name as reference with word MIND