Business partner: Mind and the Zurich Community Trust

The mental health charity links up with the charitable arm of the insurance firm

A beneficiary uses the infoline
A beneficiary uses the infoline

The mental health charity Mind is becoming a serious contender for corporate partnerships. Its corporate income has tripled in the past two years from £200,000 to £600,000.

"There's been a definite shift," says Mind's head of partnerships, Vanessa Newton. "More people are recognising the relevance of mental health."

The organisation's breakthroughs have occurred largely when more than one charity is chosen for the partnership. The Zurich Community Trust, the charitable arm of the insurance company, linked up with Mind, Clic Sargent and the Alzheimer's Society as three-year partners at the end of last year.

Mind will benefit from a £50,000 grant for each year of the partnership. The money will go towards the core costs of the Mind Infoline, the charity's helpline for people suffering from mental distress and those close to them, as well as funding the salary of an Infoline adviser for three years.

"Last year we saw an increase of 30 per cent in calls to our line, so there was a desperate need to build its capacity," says Newton. However, money is only part of the story. "Handing over a £50,000 cheque at the beginning of each year is just the start of the partnership," says Steve Grimmett, senior programme manager at the Zurich Community Trust.

Although the details have not yet been finalised, Zurich staff are likely to take over a Mind shop for a day and carry out an evaluation of the Infoline. Mind will reciprocate by providing training in mental health awareness for Zurich call centre staff.

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