Banbury Co-op partners up with mental health charity

Midcounties Co-operative Food staff held a sale of Restore items to raise money for the charity. Photo: Midcounties Co-operative
Midcounties Co-operative Food staff held a sale of Restore items to raise money for the charity. Photo: Midcounties Co-operative

The Midcounties Co-operative in Banbury is working with an Oxfordshire charity to help support people affected by mental illness in the region.

The two-year partnership will help Restore support individuals who are recovering from mental illness to return to life and work with fundraising activity and support workshops.

The charity operates across Oxfordshire and hosts craft making activities to help people develop practical skills and confidence by making and selling objects such as cards, birdhouses and jewellery boxes.

To launch the partnership, the Co-op colleagues raised £600 by selling Restore’s handmade gifts in its food store and also plan to offer employability workshops on CV writing and interview skills to help those affected access employment.

Stuart Newman, from The Midcounties Co-operative in Banbury, said: “Mental health affects one in four people in the UK and our members are committed to helping individuals and families that are affected.

"By working with Restore, we can help people to develop the skills they need to recover and also raise awareness of the charity in the area.

“Alongside fundraising activity, we’re keen to share the skills of our workforce which is why we’re planning to hold employability workshops to help local people get back on their feet.”

The partnership forms part of The Midcounties Co-operative’s Regional Communities strategy, which sees members and colleagues come together to provide impactful and sustainable support for local community groups through volunteering and fundraising initiatives.

Restore head of external relations Tom Hayes said: “The craft making sessions we host at Restore can have a real impact on people’s confidence.

"Mental illness is extremely challenging and it can take a while to return to normal life.

"The skills and confidence gained from making and selling things can help in other aspects of life.

“It’s hugely rewarding to be chosen as The Midcounties Co-operative’s charity partner.

"It was great to see our handmade products for sale on shelves and we’re looking forward to seeing the difference the employability workshops will make.”