Cost of Living donations - mental wellbeing


Find out more about the mealth health-focused charities and community groups we're supporting with financial donations through our Cost of Living initiative.


Eight Bells work throughout West Berkshire to provide mental health support to people suffering with mental health illnessess such as stress, depression, anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder and Schizophrenia.

They plan to use their donation to pay rent on their current premises in Newbury town centre, as well as training members and volunteers in Food Hygiene and First Aid so they can continue to develop skills and confidence amongst their members.

"Your generous donation will make a huge difference to our members by providing them with certainty about the future of the drop-in sessions they attend to sustain and improve their mental wellbeing. It provides them with a safe space with friends who understand what it is like to experience mental ill health on a day to day basis. The donation will also go towards training members to carry out much needed fundraising activities like coffee morning which they enjoy organising and hosting. Food hygiene training will allow us to reintroduce hot meals cooked by the members for members which can often be the only hot meal some members have. On behalf of the charity, trustees, members and clients, please accept our sincere thanks for your support of our charity and the work we do to help mental health and wellbeing.

Andrea Barrett Eight Bells for Mental Health


Oxfordshire Mind's mission is to make sure that anyone in Oxfordshire with a mental health problem has somewhere to turn for advice and support. They helped over 30,000 people in 2021 by promoting good mental health and campaigning for positive change.

The funding will be used to support their Benefits for Better Mental Health (BBMH) service, which helps people experiencing poor mental health to access the full amount of benefits they are entitled to, which can help with financial stability. The service has helped more than 400 people in the last six months to claim over £80,000 in benefit payments.

We are extremely grateful to Newbury Building Society for their generous donation to support our work at Benefits for Better Mental Health in Didcot and Abingdon. This donation will allow the benefits team here at Oxfordshire Mind to help our clients manage the cost of living crisis. Those on fixed incomes and who have mental health issues can be most adversely impacted when they cannot pay their bills and the increased anxiety and uncertainty can impede their recovery. Our dedicated benefits team help those most at need to make sure that they are able to claim their full entitlement.

Alyrene Rosser Oxfordshire Mind


Havant and East Hants Mind provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem in their local area. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding of mental health problems. The funding will go to support the running costs of their Ambassador Project for the next 12 months.

We are delighted to receive support for our Ambassadors Project from Newbury Building Society. This funding enables us to provide online check-ins for our army of trained Ambassadors supporting communities associated with local sports clubs. The pressures brought about by the increase in the cost of living have serious effects on our mental and physical health and wellbeing, so it is even more important that we work as communities to help each other and share information about available support. The check-ins also give us an opportunity to “support the supporters”, ensuring the Ambassadors wellbeing is maintained. Thank you Newbury Building Society, for supporting our Ambassadors work in Alton and Hampshire.

Ross Borman Havant and East Hants Mind


The Abingdon Bridge is a wellbeing charity that supports young people aged 13-25 with mental wellbeing concerns. The services they provide are free and confidential, and include counselling, 1:1 wellbeing support, group work and bespoke workshops. The funding will be used to pay for frontline counselling services, which cost the service around £50 per session to deliver.

We are delighted to receive this donation from Newbury Building Society. This money will help support local vulnerable young people. We are really encouraged that a local organisation has recognised the impact of uncertainty and the rising cost of living has on young people and their families. We are thrilled with the donation and very excited about future collaborations with the Abingdon branch of the Society.

Garry Hibbins, CEO, Abingdon Bridge


Winchester Youth Counselling support young people aged 11-25 experiencing mental health issues, by providing free counselling and therapies, support for parents, drop-in services and volunteering opportunities. They currently have a 6-month waiting list for counselling, so the funding received will go towards increasing the number of counselling sessions they are able to provide to young people in need, as well as purchasing tablets for clients to fill in self-assessments with during their sessions. 

WYC is absolutely delighted to receive this donation from Newbury Building Society, and this will make a huge difference to our charity. We have well over 100 young people on our counselling waiting list and 6-month wait. This can be very frustrating and difficult for young people that are struggling with their mental health, so we are doubling the amount of available counselling we provide over the course of this year. Because of donations such as this we are able to support them much sooner and make a real long-term impact on their lives and their futures. Thank you so much for your generosity!

Erin McMurty, CEO Winchester Youth Counselling


Wokingham and West Berkshire Mental Health Association services comprise a mental health drop-in centre, as well as services such as Befriending Scheme and a Mental Health Advocacy Service by email, telephone, and face-to-face. The donation received by the charity will go towards supporting running expenses, including to support the rising cost of electricity and gas. 


Andover Mind work to empower anyone with or at risk of experiencing a mental health issue to access the right advice, information and support. They upport people in the community to maximise their well-being and independence and their services support young people as well as adults. 


Restore empowers people with mental health problems to take control of their own recovery. Through being a part of recovery groups and coaching that teaches skills and being a part of a small peer group working towards shared goals often as part of a social enterprise. Restore’s purpose is to help people recover from mental ill-health, develop new skills and, where possible, access work, education or training. Restore also works to reduce the stigma towards mental ill-health.


Basingstoke Counselling Services are a small mental health charity set up in 1985 to offer counselling to those in the local community. They also offer training programmes to individuals wishing to pursue counselling as a career, and currently have 20 volunteer counsellors. The £3,000 funding will be used to provide 5 initial free counselling sessions to 16 people in the coming year, meaning they are able to start the process of finding ways to cope despite their mental health challenges. 

The donation of £3,000 from Newbury Building Society will be used to allow us to continue working with clients via our Assistance Fund, which has been met with overwhelming demand. This enables us to support members of the local community who are struggling with their mental health and otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to access our services. Offering this service can make such a fundamental difference in the lives of the people that we work with by helping them to feel heard, exploring issues and underlying causes and finding their own solutions.

Louise Hewitson, Co-Director Basingstoke Counselling Service

To find out more about the donations we're making in the areas of debt, energy, food, and transport, please head back to our Cost of Living hub.

Emma Gentry Marketing and Communications Manager

Emma is responsible for the marketing communications and public relations for the Society.

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