Donnelly Group in charity partnership with AWARE NI

EMPLOYEES at Donnelly Group have put mental health at the top of their agenda by selecting AWARE NI as the organisation’s new charity partner.

AWARE NI, now celebrating its 25th year, was voted for by employees from the Group’s nine sites across Northern Ireland who will take part in events and activities to raise vital funds for the charity.

The funds raised will be used to help support the mental health of people living right across Northern Ireland through online and offline support groups, and fund training which the charity delivers to individuals of all ages.

Roisin Donnelly, from the Group’s Donnelly Foundation, said: “The last year has unfortunately taken its toll on the mental health of many people and I am really pleased our staff chose to acknowledge the importance of mental wellbeing and selected AWARE NI as our charity partner.

“With nine sites across Northern Ireland, the Donnelly Group is deeply engrained within the local community and supporting those around us is really important.

“Our teams are very generous and always keen to help others, so we have already had great interest in some core AWARE NI events such as the Mood Walks, the Sea Splash, abseiling and treks.

“In addition to raising funds for AWARE NI, we will also be encouraging our employees to pay the same attention to their mental health as they would to their physical health, and to take part in some of the wellbeing training programmes offered by the charity.”

AWARE NI has reported an increase of 46% at its support sessions over the last year, and has introduced a number of online support groups and resources in light of the pandemic.

Support groups are the core service of the charity with 24 across Northern Ireland, including two online. AWARE NI has more than 100 facilitators, all of whom are volunteers.

Lisa Abell-Farrelly, Corporate Relationship Officer at AWARE NI, said: “Poor mental health can affect everyone at some stage in their life. For 25 years, our mission has been to encourage honest and open conversations about mental health with the intention to help increase understanding, reduce the stigma attached to it and allow access to appropriate services.

“As a user-led organisation, we have embedded personal experience of negative mental health into every aspect of our approach. Since AWARE NI's inception in 1996, support groups have been a core service.

“This personal experience of negative mental health is invaluable to our service users who recognise that it is okay not to be okay and that with the right support, it is very possible to recover. In addition to this, we offer a wealth of support resources on our website, and can deliver bespoke training programmes to schools, businesses and community groups.

“We are delighted to welcome Donnelly Group as our newest corporate partner, in our 25th year. We look forward to working together to raise vital funds to help further expand and develop the support services we offer to those living with depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder in Northern Ireland.

“We also look forward to working with the staff at Donnelly Group to promote the ways in which to maintain positive mental health and manage wellbeing within the workplace.”

For further information about AWARE NI or to get involved with fundraising please visit aware-ni.org

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