Midcounties Co-op partners up with Restore

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The Midcounties Co-operative in Banbury has announced a two-year partnership with Restore to help support people affected by mental illness in the region.

The partnership will help Restore, which launched in 1977, to support individuals who are recovering from mental illness to return to life and work with fundraising activity and support workshops.

Our charity operates across Oxfordshire and hosts craft making activities to help people develop practical skills and confidence by making and selling objects such as cards, birdhouses and jewellery boxes.

To launch the partnership, The Midcounties Co-operative colleagues have raised £600 by selling Restore’s handmade gifts in its Food store and also plans to offer employability workshops on CV writing and interview skills to help those affected access employment.

The partnership will run for two years and forms part of The Midcounties Co-operative’s Regional Communities strategy, which sees members and colleagues come together to provide impactful and sustainable support for local community groups through volunteering and fundraising initiatives.

Tom Hayes, Head of External Relations, at Restore, said: “The craft making sessions we host at Restore can have a real impact on people’s confidence. Mental illness is extremely challenging and it can take a while to return to normal life. The skills and confidence gained from making and selling things can help in other aspects of life.

“It’s hugely rewarding to be chosen as The Midcounties Co-operative’s charity partner. It was great to see our handmade products for sale on shelves and we’re looking forward to seeing the difference the employability workshops will make.”

Stuart Newman, a Leadership Team Ambassador at The Midcounties Co-operative in Banbury, said:

“Mental health affects one in four people in the UK and our members are committed to helping individuals and families that are affected. By working with Restore, we can help people to develop the skills they need to recover and also raise awareness of the charity in the area.

“Alongside fundraising activity, we’re keen to share the skills of our workforce which is why we’re planning to hold employability workshops to help local people get back on their feet.”