When the person who was supposed to become Captain withdrew, I assumed the role. The first thing I did was decide who should become the Rayleigh Golf Club’s Senior Section Captain’s Charity of the year.
In 2020, a friend of the family sadly committed suicide and no-one knew why. Then the Covid-19 pandemic left people we know struggling with their mental health: they didn’t know what to do or where to go. This have me a strong desire to choose a mental health charity. A former work colleague volunteers at Basildon Mind so I choose that local charity.
Between 1st April 2022 and 31st March 2023, I organised a number of fundraising events. I didn’t have a fundraising goal but hoped to raise a few thousand pounds.
It all started with the Captain’s Drive In on my first day, which kicked off the fundraising. Our first big event in July was the Captain’s Charity Dinner. This dinner/dance was attended by 110 and raised £1000.
Next was our September Invitation Event which consisted of a round of golf, followed by dinner. Basildon Mind helped me with a letter which I used to approach local businesses to donate the prizes used in a raffle. Almost 100 participants raised £500.
Next came the Christmas Ryder Cup golf tournament and quiz, which raised hundreds more pounds. In March 2023 was the Youngsters vs Olders where 2 of the better players from the Seniors played their counterparts from the main club. The match was followed by a raffle and sweepstake and the funds raised were split between our chosen charities. Another few hundred pounds were added to my fund.
We also received a number of individual contributions, some of hundreds of pounds!
Due to the generosity of the Seniors Section we raised an amazing £6,037. Mental health seemed to resonate with our club and some of my golfing colleagues told me it’s a subject close to their hearts and they know people who’ve got issues. This money will be used to counsel local children and youths aged 7-18 who are suffering with their mental health, which is a most worthwhile service. I hope the money we raised will enable Basildon Mind to spend the money I saved them on its other worthwhile services.
It’s been a busy year. It’s required lots of coordination and help from the Senior Section Committee and generosity from the Rayleigh Golf Club. I would also like to thank my wife Maddie for her help organising the raffles and prizes. We must have spent at least 100 hours organising these events. I didn’t realise how much work they were going to entail but the reward has outweighed the effort by a long stretch.
My advice to others is that fundraising is hard work but very rewarding: you feel you’ve achieved something worthwhile at the end. I stumbled into my Captain’s role but you should start by pre-planning events, setting a target for each. Get help from the start and your target will be surpassed. Ask your charity to support you with fundraising packs and advice. You will succeed and enjoy the hard work.
Ross decided to donate to Basildon Mind after “I saw a number of people I knew from school and my adult life struggling with their mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic”.
“I live in Billericay and I particularly wanted to donate to a local charity and I understood that Basildon Mind is the ‘Local Mind’ which delivers mental health services in my local area. I believe if you go local, it means a lot more to your local area” said Ross.
Ross is a keen golfer and his event was a golf day. In fact, it was the 10th charity golf day he’s organised in 10 years, which is an absolutely amazing achievement! These events were held at South Essex Golf Club for the benefit of mainly local charities.
The event in aid of Basildon Mind was held on 8th July 2022 and involved about 100 people. The golfers paid an entry fee and were able to bid for donated prizes in auctions.
Ross contacted Basildon Mind ahead of his event, to understand more about the charity and how it is different from ‘National Mind’ – the central charity to which all ‘Local Minds’ are affiliated. This helped him understand that helping his Local Mind was the best way to help local people with their mental health.
Ross visited our Whitmore Way counselling suite to meet the team and collect banners and leaflets to use on the golf day. He found the staff friendly and helpful and after he made his donation he received a thank you letter.
Ross did not have a specific fundraising goal, but hoped to raise £4,500 - £5000. He just wanted “to organise a good event and was happy when it went successfully”. “Everyone had an enjoyable day which made my at least 100 hours’ preparation, to make sure it’s a well-run and well-understood event, worthwhile. The icing on the cake was that we raised an amazing £4800”.
Ross’ donation has been used for to counsel local Youths aged 7 to 18, helping them with their mental health. This is appreciated hugely by Basildon Mind who are most grateful.
At the moment, Ross does not plan any future fundraising for Basildon Mind. “Although it’s rewarding, I think organising 10 events 10 years is enough. However never say never.”
Ross’ advice to others thinking about fundraising is “put the effort in and you’ll find it rewarding. And don’t forget to ‘go local’ because it means a lot more.”
A Basildon Mind service user suffered with her mental health and used Basildon Mind’s counselling service during the pandemic. It really helped! To give something back, she wanted to fundraise and donate to a mental health charity. As she now lives in London, she decided to walk a full 26-mile marathon and donate the money raised to ‘National Mind’.
She found out that ‘National Mind’ is the ‘mother’ ‘Mind’ charity, based in London. It is a different charity to ‘Basildon Mind’ who provides mental health services to local people in Basildon, Billericay and Wickford.
The London event was organised by Ultrachallenge, who has a partnership with National Mind and involved walking 26 miles around London, ending up at The Oval Cricket Ground. The event was fully mapped out and well-organised, as well as getting a funded place, participants were given fundraising packs, T-shirts, brochures and full support during the whole process, which helped make the walk successful.
On Saturday 28th January 2023, together with her sister, she set off at 8am and finished the walk at 5:30pm. The actual walk was the culmination of 4 months of intense training: they practised on alternate Sundays, initially walking 8 miles, building up to 20 miles. This training was essential to enable them to walk the whole 26 miles.
The walk was physically challenging - much harder than they thought! On route they experienced blisters, muscle strain and body aches, but they pushed on and kept going. After finishing at The Oval, they received a medal, then stayed for a team dinner with some of the other 2000 walkers, which was great for team building.
Their mum, who works at Basildon Mind, came to London and they saw her around the half-way point and got some much-needed morale support.
Their initial target was £1000, which was raised to £1500. Ultimately, they raised £2000! The total included Gift Aid, which made people’s donations go further. They don’t know what the money will be used for, but hope it will be used to help people’s mental health.
At the moment our ex-service user is not sure about future events, whether for National Mind or another charity. However, she’s so proud of what they achieved and she would encourage other people to fundraise for something close to their hearts, if they can.
The Sophie Grierson Fund (SGF) was set up by Ray and Emma in late 2019 following the tragic loss of their beautiful daughter Sophie aged 19. The specific aim of the fund is: -
To quickly provide 12 sessions of counselling to very distressed 14-24 year-olds.
The SGF is managed by Basildon Mind, a local mental health charity, affiliated to the National Mind charity. Basildon Mind work across the Borough of Basildon, that is Basildon, Billericay, Wickford and surrounding areas. For the last 50 years, Basildon Mind has worked tirelessly to improve the mental health of its local community. Services include a telephone Helpline, Counselling, Supported Housing, Forensic Advocacy, Walking Groups, an Allotment and working in a number of NHS ‘111 Option 2’ services including a Crisis Sanctuary, Crisis Sanctuary House and Positive Pathways guidance.
Basildon Mind receives no state funding for its Counselling service. The charity is able to counsel children and adults with a range of mental health conditions such as anxiety, bereavement, bullying, depression, relationships, stress (in children these often result in not wanting to go to, or exclusion from school) and long-term mental health difficulties such as schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. The ability to quickly provide counselling to severely distressed youngsters with complex conditions makes Basildon Mind unique in the Borough.
To date, 35 very distressed local young people have received around 250 1-hour counselling sessions paid for by the SGF. A further 15 people will receive 168 counselling sessions during 2023 and the same again during 2024. This would not be possible without the SGF. Almost £18,000 has been donated to this invaluable service and a further £11,600 is planned.
Basildon Mind’s Counselling evaluation data show SGF works: clients’ feelings about their General wellbeing’ increased from 3.4 to 6.2 out of 10. 92% rated “Felt Listened To” 10 out of 10 and 83% rated “Friendliness of Staff” and “Counselling Venue” 10 out of 10.
In terms of achieving their counselling goals, evaluation comments include “I feel more confident about the future”, “I’m looking to return to education”, “I’m feeling a lot better about myself and my boundaries” and “I've talked about things that I kept in for years”. These excellent outcomes are particularly important as sadly a number of SGF clients stated they felt suicidal or had previously attempted suicide before they started their counselling.
Please consider donating to help local people with their mental health. Thank you.