Staff from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) presented local mental health charity Mind in Croydon with a cheque for £10,000 today – the result of employees’ fundraising over the last 12 months.

Councillor Janet Campbell, mental health champion for the Borough of Croydon and Bernadette Khan, Mayor of Croydon, also joined the celebration, where PPF employees revealed the fundraising total to Richard Pacitti, CEO of Mind in Croydon and some of the charity’s service users.

The PPF, which has its head office on Dingwall Road in East Croydon, partnered with Mind in Croydon as its organisational charity for 2018/19. In building a calendar of fundraising events and getting hands on with local volunteering opportunities, the goal was to help Mind in Croydon fund and run its services for local people with mental health problems and  to help break down the stigma surrounding mental illness.

PPF staff raised the money through a variety of fundraising events over the year, including bake sales, football tournaments, a 5k run and quiz nights, as well as completing volunteering projects to support the charity. The PPF allows employees up to five days a year off work to volunteer for good causes.

One of the most personal projects took place in July 2018 when Mind in Croydon asked PPF volunteers to help a service user and their family who were at risk. A small team of dedicated PPF employees spent a day clearing out the family’s home and cleaning everything to make it safe and suitable for living.

PPF volunteers also gave their time at the Mind in Croydon Hub, a drop-in centre where service users are able to take part in groups and activities to help boost their confidence, as well as discuss their mental health needs and meet other people.

Richard Pacitti, Chief Executive Officer at Mind in Croydon said:

“It has been an absolute pleasure to work with our friends at PPF over the last year. Staff there have taken a real interest in the work that we do and have become involved in directly helping a number of the people that we support. This interaction has created enormous benefits for the charity, the people we support and, I hope, has made the whole process much more rewarding for the staff at PPF. The celebration event today was a very special event. Staff from our charity and a number of the people who we support were able to attend, along with our friends from the PPF, the Mayor of Croydon and Cllr Campbell, Croydon's mental health champion. We were delighted with the money that PPF were able to donate to us and all of this will go directly to the front line, helping people in the everyday lives. Things got even better when PPF announced that they had chosen us as their charity for next year! We look forward to continuing our working relationship with our friends at PPF, which we know will be as beneficial and as much fun as our work to date. Huge thanks to all at PPF.”

Oliver Morley, Chief Executive Officer at the PPF said:

“We’re very proud to have achieved so much for Mind in Croydon. To say that it’s been a busy year of charitable activity for the PPF would be an understatement. Our people have thrown themselves into the challenge and have developed so much passion for the charity that they’ve voted to partner with Mind in Croydon for a second year; a third with a mental health charity. It gives me great pleasure to lead an organisation of people who care about making a difference in the community.”

In October 2018 the PPF embarked on its most ambitious fundraising event yet – Never Mind the Catwalk, at Boxpark Croydon. Volunteers put on a fashion show using high-end clothes donated to Mind in Croydon’s charity shop, which were also made available to purchase. The event also featured live music, mental health information and special appearances from the Mayor of Croydon and Councillor Janet Campbell.

At Christmas, PPF volunteers donated goods for festive hampers, which were decorated and delivered to service users via the Mind in Croydon hub, as well purchasing brand new children’s toys as presents for service users’ children and grandchildren.

Employees chose the charity partner for a number of reasons, some of them personal. Around one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, with one in six experiencing a common mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression, in any given week.

As an employer of nearly 400 people, the PPF takes mental health at work seriously. Every person with line management responsibilities has to take mental health awareness training with Mental Health First Aid England. This training provides them with an awareness of mental health conditions, tools to support their own mental health and that of their colleagues, and direction to access timely support when needed. In 2019 so far 112 PPF employees have been given this training and nine members of staff  have been trained to become qualified mental health first aiders.

Ends

Notes to editors
The Pension Protection Fund protects millions of people throughout the United Kingdom who belong to defined benefit pension schemes. If their employers go bust, and their pension schemes cannot afford to pay what they promised, the PPF will pay compensation for their lost pensions. More than 130,000 people now receive compensation from the PPF and many more are expected to do so in the future. The PPF is a public corporation, set up by the Pensions Act 2004, and is run by an independent Board.

For more information contact Hannah Lang, Media Manager [email protected] / 020 8406 2021