Virgin Trains have begun a new, yearlong charity partnership with Rethink Mental Illness in an attempt to raise awareness of mental health issues and support local communities across the UK.
Today marks the launch of the exciting partnership, with the official launch taking place in May, with a ‘May the 4th be with you’ Star Wars dress-up fundraising day.
As well as fundraising events within communities, the charity will focus on the mental wellbeing of Virgin Trains’ employees. Virgin Trains aim to raise awareness of the importance of good mental health both in and out of the workplace.
“We’re so proud of what we’ve achieved with the Mental Health Foundation,” said Patrick McGrath of Virgin trains. “Mental health continues to be a big focus for us and we’re excited to be partnering with Rethink Mental Illness for the next stage of a very important journey.”
Employees from Virgin Trains will be raising money through fundraising activities working within local communities in and around its train stations.
Emma Malcolm, Director of Fundraising at Rethink Mental Illness said, “we are looking forward to developing a range of fundraising activities, alongside new training and support for staff that will continue to raise awareness of mental health problems, and embed understanding, ensuring that everyone has the tools to hand to support their mental wellbeing both at work and in our communities.”
University student, Hannah Franklin, who was diagnosed with anxiety during her early teens, thinks the charity partnership will both spread understanding about mental health issues as well as encourage sufferers to speak out.
“Some people undermine mental health as it isn’t a visible illness. Those same people usually think it’s only actions that hurt too, not words,” Hannah said.
“Hopefully, the more people that get involved in raising awareness, the more people will speak out about their experiences with mental illness.”
Colleagues of Virgin Trains will be working throughout the year to raise money and awareness of mental wellbeing at any of the 42 station around the country that the train line operates to and from.