The BRITs 2018 Mind, Music Support and The BRIT School cheque presentation, The BRIT School, Tuesday 19th June, photo John Marshall/JM Enternational

The BRIT Awards with Mastercard presents £250,000 to Mind, BRIT School & Music Support to fund mental health education

Following the recent announcement that The BRIT Awards with Mastercard is to donate £250,000 to Mind, The BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology and Music Support, today the three charitable organisations were presented with a cheque by BRITs Chairman & Sony Music UK Chairman and CEO, Jason Iley, accompanied by chart topping, multiple BRIT Award nominee and Sony artist George Ezra at a launch event at The BRIT School in Croydon, London.

BRITs Chairman and Sony Music UK Chairman and CEO Jason Iley said: “I am delighted that we can use the BRIT Awards platform to publicly support and fundraise for mental wellbeing. The difference that these charities make towards people lives is immeasurable and addressing this subject within schools is vital to a progressive and optimistic future.”

George Ezra also said a few words, having spoken previously about mental health wellbeing.  George performed a fundraising gig for Mind in 2017, and more recently backed an initiative by Sony Music to award their employees ‘Premium Days’ to look after their mental health.

George Ezra said: “I think it’s brilliant that Mind are working with secondary schools to help raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing. Your school years are such an important time and having an understanding of mental health and knowing what support is available can make a real difference. I’m really pleased that the BRIT Awards have chosen Mind to roll out this important project reaching thousands of people.”

The event was hosted by The BRIT School’s Principal, Stuart Worden, who was joined by Mind CEO Paul Farmer and Matt Thomas from Music Support.

£200,000 of the pledged total will go to mental health charity Mind as part of a brand new partnership with The BRITs to support the pilot of their Whole School Approach to mental health. The pilot will launch this September in a diverse range of secondary schools across England and Wales – including The BRIT School. The scheme will see support for the mental health of everyone involved in school life: pupils, the entire school workforce and parents. The schools (full list to be unveiled at a later date) will be the first to experience Mind’s new ‘Whole School Approach to mental health’  and the evidence gathered will be essential in helping the charity to roll out the programme in future to support thousands more children and young people each year.

The approach will include a self-assessment tool for schools, tailored assemblies and workshops, 1-2-1 sessions for young people in need of more intensive support, and information and training for teachers, the wider school workforce and parents.

In addition to being one of the first schools to pilot Mind’s Whole School Approach to mental health, The BRIT School has been awarded £25,000 to support dedicated mental health wellbeing and special needs work. The school has already shown a huge commitment to mental health through its own bespoke ‘Blue Skies’ programme, which will continue to serve students and staff alike to focus on promoting mental health wellbeing. This amount is in addition to the other BRIT Trust grants the school regularly receives.

A further £25,000 will go to Music Support – the new music industry addictions and mental health charity established by industry veterans Matt Thomas and Andy Franks, which has Robbie Williams as its patron.

Previous recipients of funds raised through The BRIT Awards include Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy and War Child.  The BRIT Awards announced in March this year that its activities in 2017 had generated over     £1 million for its BRIT Trust charitable arm, which, since its foundation in 1989, has distributed over £20 million to charities that promote education and wellbeing through music.  Alongside The BRIT School, Nordoff-Robbins and Music Support, these include charities such as Key4life, which draws on passion for music to help rehabilitate young offenders, Heart ‘n’ Soul, and the East London Arts and Music (ELAM) School.