M&S joins forces with Jigsaw for youth mental health initiative

The three year partnership aims to raise €350,000, reaching out to 1.5 million young people and their families with vital mental health support and services



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6 June 2024

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Marks & Spencer (M&S) has announced a three-year partnership with Jigsaw, Ireland’s leading youth mental health charity. This partnership aims to raise capacity, reach, and accessibility of the help available to young people across Ireland struggling with their mental health through a series of fundraising and awareness initiatives.

Through colleague and customer donations, as well as dedicated fundraising campaigns, M&S aims to raise €350,000 for Jigsaw within the next three years. Jigsaw’s ambition is to reach 1.5 million young people and their families with access to mental health support and services in that time.

This support will improve their understanding of mental health, drive awareness of available services and help break down barriers that prevent them from seeking support.

Mental health supports

The partnership aims to help fund Jigsaw’s mission to reach 1.5 million young people and their families by 2026, offering trusted and crucially important mental health support and services. These supports will increase their mental health literacy, drive awareness of the services available to them, and break down barriers that stop them from seeking support.

According to a report issued in May 2023, titled “A Piece of My Mind” by the Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO), almost 30% of children rate their mental health as ‘not good’ and need help to manage it.

The report, which surveyed 2,166 children aged between 12 and 17, found that more than four in 10 children who availed of mental health services reported that it “did not deal with their problem or the cause of their difficulty”, highlighting the urgent need for accessible and effective mental health support for young people.

26-mile marathon

To kick off the partnership, M&S staff will host a 26-mile marathon walk on the 7th of June, starting at M&S Liffey Valley and culminating on M&S Grafton Street. Along the route, participants will engage with various M&S stores and Jigsaw locations. Each store across the country will also host unique fundraising activities beginning on the same day.

This initiative aligns with M&S UK partnership with YoungMinds – a mental health charity for children, young people and their parents – reflecting a shared commitment to youth mental health across both regions.

Eddie Murphy, country director, Marks & Spencer Ireland and Northern Ireland, said: “No young person should feel alone, and no adult should feel lost when they want to help. That’s why we’re working together with Jigsaw to make an impactful difference. We are hugely impressed by the work Jigsaw does and inspired to walk side by side to make a real difference in the lives of young people.”

Dr. Joseph Duffy, chief executive officer, Jigsaw, said: “This partnership with M&S is huge for Jigsaw and for youth mental health in Ireland. As we continue to see a surge in demand for our mental health services, it is so important that young people across Ireland know that we stand by them. This partnership with M&S makes that possible. Jigsaw and M&S share a joint ambition for supporting youth mental health and wellbeing in Ireland, and together, we believe this unique partnership affords us the opportunity to spread more awareness, to raise more funds and to drive more change.”

Read more: M&S launches latest phase of its Farm to Foodhall campaign



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