M&S Purley Way launches the big Fun-raiser for YoungMinds

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M&S Purley Way has completed a week-long ‘Fun-raiser’ for YoungMinds, the leading mental health charity for young people, to raise awareness and much needed funds for those struggling with their mental health.

M&S Purley Way is one of over 360 stores across the UK that has taken on a ‘fun-raising’ challenge – to see how far they can go for the charity. The Purley Way team walked an incredible 17 miles from the store in Croydon to Westminster, following the River Wandle and River Thames.

Colleagues Samantha King, Camilla Harris, Kelly Woodford, Reshma Khan, Michael Stevens, Marli Rosa, Alicja Gieryk, Marlene Ballasingh and Ben Fisher took part in the walk. As a team, they have so far raised over £700 for YoungMinds and customers can still donate in-store or via the M&S website here.

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The activity is part of M&S’ partnership with Young Minds, announced in October 2023, aiming to raise £5million over the next three years to support young people’s mental health.

M&S Purley Way team during their walk to Westminster.M&S Purley Way team during their walk to Westminster.
M&S Purley Way team during their walk to Westminster.

This will enable YoungMinds to support seven million young people and the adults in their lives through easy to access online resources and its dedicated Parent’s Helpline.

To kick-start the partnership, M&S made a £1 million donation, and the generosity of customers and colleagues has raised an additional £700,000 so far.

Last month, M&S also announced that 5p from the sale of every loaf in its Farmhouse loaf range would be donated to YoungMinds. The popular Farmhouse range is comprised of five different loaves and now has updated packaging to highlight the donation.

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Research commissioned last year by M&S and Young Minds found that despite struggling with their mental health, 65% of young people hadn’t asked for any kind of formal support – 33% of those said they felt too embarrassed.

While loneliness was found to be the primary cause of mental health problems among the young people surveyed, 61% of those waiting for mental health support said they had stopped attending school, college, university or work – risking greater isolation form their friends.

Samantha King, Deputy Store Manager at M&S Purley Way, said:At Purley Way we’re proud to be supporting M&S on its fun-raising mission to provide mental health support to young people across the country. It’s been brilliant to complete our 17 mile walk to Westminster as a team and raise money for such a worthy cause. #

"I’d like to thank all our customers for their generosity and there is still time to donate! If anyone has a young person in their life, take a look at the support YoungMinds can offer online or ask a member of our team for more information.”

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Laura Bunt, Chief Executive of YoungMinds, said: “Life is increasingly tough for young people and record numbers are in need of support for their mental health. When they’re able to access the help they need, things can get better, but the wait for support is often too long or the right support isn’t available.

"Together with M&S, we want to show young people that together we can turn things around. The incredible fundraising efforts by M&S will help us reach and support more young people and the adults in their lives.”