Agnew Group staff raise £40,000 for charity MindWise


The funds will support the charity’s ongoing support services which have experienced greater demand during the pandemic

Agnew Group, one of Northern Ireland’s top car retailers, has raised £40,000 for mental health charity MindWise, in its latest fundraising drive. This is all down to the amazing efforts of its employees. 

Agnew Group, which is no stranger to supporting local causes having donated to local charities over the years, dedicated its latest drive to those struggling mentally with depression, anxiety and, more recently, pandemic-related mental illness.

Speaking about the taxing task of raising funds even when access to traditional fundraising activities were restricted, Yuile Magee, Group Managing Director at Agnew Group, said: “This was our first year partnering with MindWise and despite not being able to implement the initiatives we usually do during a typical fundraising year, we are delighted with the ambitious figure that we have achieved and know it will make an impact on the charity’s work.

“We thank our staff, who, even during very restrictive times, continued to showcase their altruistic spirit in spite of their own challenges during the pandemic. They did this through their own creative events and via payroll donation. 

Mr Magee continued: “There have been some harrowing statistics released recently on how the pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns have made their mark on the mental wellness of people in Northern Ireland, and that’s on top of well-known figures that show Northern Ireland has the highest prevalence of mental health problems than any other UK nation, so it makes our donation even more poignant.”

MindWise supports recent research undertaken by Queen’s University Belfast exploring the impact of Covid-19 on the people of Northern Ireland showed that 30% of people here meet the criteria for anxiety, 33% meet the criteria for depression, while one in five meet the criteria for Covid-19 related PTSD (Source: the STARC research lab at Queen’s University, 2020).

Earlier surveys have also found that Northern Ireland is reported to have a 25% higher overall prevalence of mental health problems than England while 19% of individuals show signs of a possible mental health problem. 

The charity says that findings from The Mental Health Foundation show more women (20%) than men (16%) report signs of mental health problems. As such MindWise has a particular focus on mother and family wellness programmes.

MindWise has continued to offer its 36+ mental health support services during the pandemic. It has adapted its usual face-to-face services for online and telephone offerings, helping more than 11,000 people per year affected by mental health difficulties.

It has also provided online events for its users, including creative classes as well as resilience training for younger people via Zoom, and has adapted its WorkWise courses too, which teach places of employment how to manage mental health at work and build resilience, while its recently launched intervention project for expectant and new mums who are experiencing emotional and mental health difficulties, has also been adapted.

Speaking about Agnew Group’s donation of £40,000, Anne Doherty, CEO at MindWise, said: “MindWise is absolutely amazed and delighted that Agnew Group staff have continued to go the extra mile during these unprecedented times.  During the pandemic many people are facing issues affecting their own and their family’s mental health and wellbeing, the management of which must be a priority for all. However, MindWise has been honoured to work with Agnew Group, whose commitment and dedication has enabled devastated families to access mental health, wellbeing and money advice support. We all look forward to recovering from COVID-19 going forward and no doubt we will achieve this together”.

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