‘Light Up Friday’ to support Lockdown Level Up

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To our amazing community, 

We’re skipping Black Friday this year (sorry not sorry), but instead we’ll be turning your “discount” into an opportunity to make a positive difference by utilising 20% of all of our revenue from the 26th November to the 4th of December to fund our “Lockdown Level-Up’ workshops for vulnerable youths. So by engaging us to help your team or to make a difference in your organisation, you can also take pride in knowing that your commitment will also positively impact young people who are being failed by society and have been left disillusioned and disenfranchised. Enjoy that smug feeling of creating a ‘win, win, win scenario!’ Like many other purpose-driven, value-led organisations – we are proud to announce that we are reimagining Black Friday. In fact, we want to rename it ‘Light-Up Friday’ because this Friday we want to shine a ray of hope into the lives of those who need it most.

 Together with our wonderful clients and supporters, we want to focus on giving more this year rather than getting more. Recent events have resulted in Mental Health being a bigger issue than ever before and the most vulnerable people in society are the ones that are struggling the most. This is highly likely to get worse before it gets better if we don’t take immediate action. You may be shocked to learn the main cause of death in a 16-24 year old in Britain today is suicide. That is NOT acceptable. Restrictions and the impact of recent events have only made this worse. We can make a difference with your support.

How many billions of things are purchased every year on Black Friday? How many of these items are likely to end up in a landfill? As much as we don’t produce physical consumer products – we understand that at this time of year people tend to lose their senses and buy things they don’t need, with money that they don’t have. The heightened stress and anxiety we experience due to the ‘feeding frenzy’ caused by this manufactured consumer holiday leads to poor judgement and decision making. The credit card gets a bashing and you get a temporary ‘high’ when your parcels arrive yet the feeling fades very quickly. Frenzied consumption will not help us achieve fulfilment and sadly for some, the impact can often result in financial issues and poor mental health. 

Instead of contributing to this problem and jumping on the bandwagon, we are challenging you to think differently. How about investing in something that helps your team and makes a positive impact on society?

We have participated in Black Friday in the past! As a self-funded small business, we’ve had to participate for survival as many of our competitors have put on amazing offers, and we were concerned that if we didn’t get involved, people would go elsewhere. 

We haven’t always gotten it as right as we have this year. This year we are making a stand and want to do the right thing for society – not our bottom line.

The challenges of 2020 have demonstrated the large-scale, financial insecurity of the nation. The statistics show that people in the UK owed £1,684 billion at the end of August 2020, a £26.2 billion increase on the figure for the previous year. When averaged out, the calculations show that a typical adult is in £31,914 of debt. (The Money Charity, 2020)

Financial insecurity has a detrimental impact on the ability to provide basic necessities. In the UK, a concerning 14% of families with children have experienced food insecurity over the past 6 months. This effects 4 million people, 2.3 million of whom are children. (Food Foundation, 2020) This can have a significant impact on wellbeing as those in a low socioeconomic class have the highest risk of suffering from mental health problems. This is unsettlingly prevalent in children and adolescents who are three times more likely to develop mental health issues. (Mental Health Foundation, 2020) 

These unsettling statistics and financial instability demonstrated by 2020 lead us to reevaluate our approach to Black Friday. So until 5pm on the 4th of December, for every course or workshop purchased, 20% will be donated towards our charitable endeavours delivered by our non-profit arm The Stress Management Society

How YOU can make a difference?

Following the recent successful launch of our Lockdown Level Up programme, we are now seeking the funding to roll this out to as many vulnerable youths as possible.

This workshop is an introduction to building self-awareness and resilience, designed to empower youths to meet the challenges they face in the strange times we find ourselves in. 

Teaching valuable stress coping strategies and techniques to increase their wellbeing. The attendees, aged between 12-18, are all supported by The Bright Centre, an organisation focussed on supporting and assimilating students who feel disillusioned and disenfranchised with mainstream education. Most of these wonderful kids have been excluded or are being threatened with exclusion from school. They have been failed by society and are effectively being told they have no value.  

The interactive session is a hybrid of theory and practical activities, making use of the fantastic facilities which have been kindly provided many wonderful Gyms in and around London. 

The pilot was run at the incredible The Fore Gym in Kings Cross. Many of these children come from families that rely on food bank’s so we feed them before they leave to ensure that no one misses a meal or leaves the premises feeling hungry.

Don’t just take it from me. 

Here’s a story from one of the wonderful young people that attended our pilot session:

Shikara’s story

One of our attendees was a wonderful young lady who was excluded from school as the they have deemed she’s too much for them. She has been bullied and has struggled with her Mental Health. She has described this year as the most stressful one of her life and support staff from the centre have described her as being disengaged and withdrawn. She mentioned that in most area’s of her life she is told what not to do – ‘Don’t touch that, don’t make noise, don’t ask questions, don’t be silly etc’. She stated that this as the first time in years she felt she was encouraged to challenge, ask questions, play and be curious’. We provided her with a safe space – to be herself, to express, to engage and to explore. In two hours, her energy transformed. Here from her directly:

We’re thrilled to announce that since attending “Lockdown Level up’ she has had a follow up meeting with the school that went fantastically well. They were incredibly impressed by her change in attitude and will be reintegrating her into the school.

I have been delivering programmes for almost two decades and I can confidently say that this is one of the best things I have ever delivered. I was deeply moved by the how amazing these kids are, and how they responded and engaged so well even though they have struggled in mainstream education – proving it’s the system that has failed, not the kids. I may have shed a tear on the way home!

How you can help?

It doesn’t need to cost you anything to help us help these wonderful kids. We will simply take 20% of the investment of any of our courses or workshops and use that as a donation towards The Stress Management Society’s Lockdown Level Up Programme. This will be valid on each course or training session purchased via International Wellbeing Insights before the close of business on the 4th of December.

This covers both face to face and virtual programmes. Our virtual programmes are not passive webinars where you sit quietly watching a screen. We have created an online/virtual version of our highly interactive/engaging face to face sessions that are very much in line with the sessions we have delivered for hundreds of clients globally over the last seventeen years. Delegates can ask questions, get involved and participate fully. To maximise engagement we always suggest optimal group sizes of a maximum of 25 people.

The sessions are fully bespoke and tailored to the needs of your team and the investment covers the entire process – design, development, delivery of your programme. It’s not an off the shelf, we will ensure it’s specific and relevant for the needs of your people.

To learn more about the different workshop options click here.

If you are not ready, or in a position to commit to any training or workshops at this stage, yet would still like to support us in helping more vulnerable kids, you can make a donation directly by clicking here – every contribution no matter how small can make a difference.

Get in contact via our website or email us at info@stress.org.uk to find out more about our services.