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Employee inspires fundraising of nearly £500K for leading UK mental health charity

An employee in Loughborough from leading business management software provider, The Access Group, has inspired the company to raise £448,738 for leading mental health charity Bipolar UK after sharing the story of her daughter who lives with bipolar.

After hearing about Hannah, 36, from her mum Jo Battisson, who has worked for the Access Group for nearly four years, employees voted to partner with Bipolar UK as their Charity of the Year. In 12 months, they rallied together to fundraise the life-changing amount of money and help improve the lives of thousands of people living with bipolar around the UK.

Employees from the UK supported the campaign through their Access salary ‘round to the pound’, employee lottery and ‘Give as You Earn’ apps.  

Many of Jo’s colleagues also undertook individual challenges including climbing Snowdon, jumping out of planes, walking 125 miles over 5 days from London to Loughborough and cycling in the London Nightrider event. Every pound raised by staff was matched by the Access Group.

Speaking about the partnership, CEO of Bipolar UK, Simon Kitchen, said: “Bipolar can be a devastating condition but with the proper treatment and support, we know that people can live well.

“With over 1 million people living with bipolar in the UK, we want to help as many of them as possible and ensure they have access to vital peer support services. We are extremely grateful to everyone at the Access Group for their incredible fundraising efforts.”

The money raised will help Bipolar UK meet the growing demand for their services, increase the provision of their call-back and email Peer Support Line, reopen in-person Peer Support Groups across the country and support even more people affected by bipolar through their eCommunity, website and weekly newsletters.

The charity, the only dedicated national charity supporting people affected by bipolar, currently supports around 100,000 people a year. With an estimated one million-plus people living with bipolar in the UK, money raised through the Access Group will help support even more people living with the condition and their families.

Funds raised will also support the work of the Bipolar Commission which aims to dramatically reduce the number of lives lost to suicide by people living with bipolar. Launched in March 2021, the commission works with the bipolar community to identify challenges in the healthcare system, identify ways to improve self-management and reduce suicidal thinking.

As well as raising funds, The Access Group partnered with Bipolar UK to create an interactive ‘Understanding Bipolar’ eLearning course. This is being used across the company to educate employees and clients, and from the end of September 2022, will be a lasting resource on Bipolar UK’s website for anyone who wants to learn more about bipolar.

Speaking about Bipolar UK’s work, eLearning designer Jo said: “The support and guidance I’ve had from Bipolar UK has given me the skills I need to support Hannah in the best way possible.

When we discovered that the Access Group had voted for Bipolar UK as their Charity of the Year we were completely overwhelmed and we know first-hand how important Bipolar UK is, and how much it improves the lives of people living with this challenging condition.”

To find out more about the partnership between Bipolar UK and The Access Group, and to hear Jo and Hannah’s story, visit www.bipolaruk.org/blog/access-group-partnership