John Lewis bails out YoungMinds

YoungMinds, the charity that works to improve the mental health of children and young people, has been chosen by John Lewis as the first charity partner in the retailer's history.

The partnership comes at a key time for the charity, which could lose its policy team and magazine because of a financial crisis (Third Sector, 10 January).

The partnership will last for 12 months. It will begin with a YoungMinds awareness week between 18 and 24 February, when events including bed-making competitions will be held at all 26 John Lewis department stores. The retailer hopes to raise as much as £100,000 for the charity.

Avis Johns, development director at YoungMinds, said that the partnership would make a big difference, but the charity would still need additional income to survive the funding crisis.

Several YoungMinds donors have reduced their gifts just as a three-year Big Lottery Fund grant is ending, and the Department of Health is not renewing a section 64 grant.

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