South East and Central Essex Mind, 112a Southchurch Road

Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS1 2LX

Charity registration number 1148451

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Chelmsford Star Coop funds new mental health services for residents of Chelmsford.


A new mental health support service will open its doors in the autumn thanks to a large donation from the Chelmsford Star Cooperative.

The company kindly donated £27, 715 to South East and Central Essex Mind, a charity which provides mental health support to people in the region. Working in partnership with Meadgate church, the charity will be opening a service which provides help, advice and peer support for people in the area who are suffering from mental distress. The service will run on set afternoons during the week at The Orchards in Mascalls Way, a former primary school which has operated as a community space since July 2014.

The Mind Dove project will be the first of its kind in Chelmsford since the closure of the Chelmsford Mind branch in 2015. Kristina Stazaker, the fundraising and communications manager at the charity says “We are absolutely thrilled to be able to serve the people of Chelmsford once again. Mental health issues can affect anyone and in all different ways. It is essential that support is there for people who are in mental distress and need somebody to talk to”.

Ken Sanderson, the chief executive of the charity, says “Face to face talking therapies and counselling are a real help for many but they are expensive to run because of the highly-skilled practitioners involved. The money they have raised can mean these services can be delivered in the Chelmsford area and will make a positive impact for sufferers, their families and friends”. Ken explains more about the charity saying “South East and Central Essex Mind is affiliated to national Mind but we don't receive any funding from them and actually pay to be affiliated and have the right to use the Mind name and logo. National Mind doesn't actually provide any services and relies on local Mind's like us to offer the front line support for those who need it”.

The service will have a large room for peer support work and offshoot counselling rooms for those who wish to talk discreetly. It will be run by volunteers, mostly the trustees and long-standing supporters of the charity. The charity hopes it will grow and expand in the future.

The charity wants to say a heartfelt thank you to Chelmsford Star Cooperative. Kristina says “Without their support and amazing donation, this project would have never lifted off the ground. We were chosen as their ninth charity of the year, that’s nine years this company has shown amazing kindness and generosity to the good causes in the region. We want to thank every store for this vital contribution”.

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