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07th Jun 2024

Marks and Spencer and Jigsaw announce youth mental health partnership

JOE

The three-year initiative aims to raise €350,000 and enhance mental health services for young people.

Marks & Spencer have announced a significant three-year partnership with Jigsaw, Ireland’s leading youth mental health charity.

The collaboration aims to bolster the capacity, reach, and accessibility of mental health services for young people across Ireland through a series of fundraising and awareness initiatives.

M&S has set a goal to raise €350,000 for Jigsaw over the next three years through colleague and customer donations and dedicated fundraising campaigns.

Jigsaw aims to use these funds to reach 1.5 million young people and their families, providing crucial mental health support and services.

The partnership will see M&S supporting Jigsaw with fundraising activities, in-store point-of-sale materials, and extensive radio and social media campaigns.

This initiative is designed to improve mental health literacy, drive awareness of available services, and break down barriers that prevent young people from seeking support.

A recent report by the Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO), titled ‘A Piece of My Mind,’ highlighted the urgent need for accessible and effective mental health support for young people.

The report revealed that nearly 30 per cent of children rate their mental health as ‘not good’ and require assistance to manage it.

Additionally, over 40 per cent of children who accessed mental health services felt that their issues were not adequately addressed.

Eddie Murphy, Country Director for Marks & Spencer Ireland and Northern Ireland, emphasised the importance of community support and youth mental health.

“At M&S, we believe in the power of community and the importance of supporting our youth,” he said.

“Jigsaw’s mission to ensure every young person in Ireland has their mental health valued and supported aligns perfectly with M&S’ values. We know how much the mental health of young people matters to both our customers and colleagues.

“No young person should feel alone, and no adult should feel lost when they want to help. That’s why we’re working together with Jigsaw to make an impactful difference.

“We are hugely impressed by the work Jigsaw does and inspired to walk side by side to make a real difference in the lives of young people.”

Dr Joseph Duffy, CEO of Jigsaw, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, saying: “This partnership with M&S is huge for Jigsaw and for youth mental health in Ireland. As we continue to see a surge in demand for our mental health services, it is so important that young people across Ireland know that we stand by them. This partnership with M&S makes that possible.”

To kick off the partnership, M&S staff will host a 26-mile marathon walk on June 7th, starting at M&S Liffey Valley and ending at M&S Grafton Street.

Each M&S store nationwide will also host unique fundraising activities on the same day.

For more information about Jigsaw, click here.

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