Charity of the year

High Bank Day Nursery has chosen the area’s largest voluntary sector mental health agency as its charity of the year.

Darlington Mind was selected by the nursery following suggestions made by parents and staff.

It also complements a new initiative introduced recently at High Bank which sees staff receiving free counselling sessions if they want to discuss any issues relating to their mental health.

And it comes on the back of recent statistics which show that 13% of the global population (971 million people) suffer from some kind of mental disorder.

High Bank is now busy planning the events it hopes will help to exceed the £2,000 it raised for 2018/19 charity of the year, the Great North Air Ambulance Service.

High Bank Day Nursery Manager Hayley Grainger said: “We’re pleased to have chosen Darlington Mind as our charity of the year for 2019/20.

“It was the overwhelming choice of staff and parents from all the local charities we considered, and we’re now looking forward to organising various fundraising events over the course of the next 12 months.

“Mental health is an area we’re looking at closely within the nursery, including offering counselling sessions to any members of staff who would benefit from private one-to-ones; so it’s nice to be supporting a charity which does so much good helping people in our area.”

Darlington Mind is the area’s largest voluntary sector mental health agency and provides services from bases in Darlington, Northallerton, Bedale, Richmond, Colburn, Stokesley, Catterick and Bainbridge. With a team of 38 staff and 50 volunteers, the charity provides a range of services for people with mental health problems.

Christine Thompson, Darlington Mind’s Head of Service for Housing and Adult Mental Health, said: “We are an independently registered charity which does all its own fundraising, so to be named as High Bank’s charity of the year will make a big difference to us.

“All the money the nursery raise will go towards the provision of local services, whether that’s counselling sessions, mentoring courses or equipment for our art group.

“With one in four people in the UK experiencing some form of mental illness in a year, the awareness of mental health awareness is at an all-time high and through the support or organisations like High Bank, we’re able to ensure it remains firmly in the spotlight so whether it’s an enduring mental health condition, anxiety, depression, stress or bereavement, we can direct people to the service that will help them.”

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