An independent North East suicide prevention and education charity has received a four-figure cash boost from the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation.
The If U Care Share Foundation promotes emotional well-being in young people and supports families affected by suicide right across the region.
Based in Chester-le-Street, the Foundation was set up by Shirley Smith and her husband Dean following the death of their 19 year-old son Daniel, and focuses on prevention, intervention and support of those bereaved by suicide.
And it has now been nominated to receive a £2,000 donation from the fund by the team at Newcastle Building Society’s Front Street branch in Chester-le-Street, which will go towards meeting the cost of providing the range of services it offers.
More than 11,000 people have been helped by the Foundation since it was set up, with its services provided free at the point of contact.
Outreach work in schools around the North East is regularly undertaken, and it also offers a number of training and educational programmes which focus on suicide prevention, mental health and emotional wellbeing:
Sandra Emery, operations manager at The If U Care Share Foundation, says: “Every person or family we work with that has been affected by suicide needs their own individual package of help, which could include practical, financial or emotional support, and the work we do aims to meet all these very varied needs as far as we possibly can.
“Talking about how people are feeling or about any problems that are causing them distress can really help, and sharing problems can often help to put people’s worries into perspective and allow them to be seen in a different way.
“We’re very much reliant on securing funding from outside sources to help us keep up with our running costs, and are very grateful for the generous contribution that the Newcastle’s Chester-le-Street team has made to our cause.”
The If U Care Share Foundation is one of ten regional good causes to which donations have been made by the Newcastle this year after they were nominated by staff across its branch and Head Office network.
The initiative is the latest in a line of supportive measures that the Society has provided to the communities right across the North East.
Lee Metters, manager at Newcastle Building Society’s Chester-le-Street branch, adds: “As a mutual organisation, we’re keen to support the communities in which we work as much as we can. The invaluable educational and supportive work done by the Foundation with young people and families both in our local area and around the North East makes it very worthwhile of our support.”
The Newcastle’s donations were made possible via an endowment fund held with the Community Foundation. For more information on St Chad’s Community Project, visit www.ifucareshare.co.uk