Earlier this year, we announced The Cellar Trust as our 2019 charity of the year. We decided to put wellbeing at the heart of the agency this year by choosing this Shipley-based charity. The charity focuses on providing mental health support and helping people on their journey to recovery.

We will offer fundraising, volunteering hours and hands on coaching through our PR and social media training arm, Approachability. We will also work alongside the charity to help spread further awareness around mental health issues.

Suzanne Watson, managing director at Approach, said: “We live and breathe wellness both inside and outside of our business and with statistics showing that around one in four people in the UK experience a mental health issue each year, we recognise the importance of supporting a charity which makes such a difference to adults in our local area. The work undertaken by The Cellar Trust has really resonated with the team. Therefore, selecting them as our key focus for support was a collective decision. We’re looking forward to working together and helping them to reach more people and make even more of a difference this year.”

The Cellar Trust

The Cellar Trust began operating in the mid-1980s and delivers high quality mental health support. Starting from humble beginnings, the project was set up in the cellar of a Victorian house by a social worker. They realised there was little opportunity to help people with long term mental health problems back into employment.

The charity now provides a wide range of support. This includes an award-winning crisis service, Haven, which is open 365 days a year; Pathways to Employment, which helps people to rebuild confidence and develop new skills for employment; and Workplace Wellbeing, which supports individuals and businesses to maintain good mental health at work. A new Telehealth service has also recently been launched offering evening and weekend telephone support for people needing help.

Andrew McCarthy, head of fundraising and development at The Cellar Trust, said: “As a local charity, we don’t have the resources that national charities have. This is why the support from Approach is invaluable to us. We’re ecstatic to have been chosen as the team’s very first charity of the year. We’re certain that this partnership will help to support people experiencing mental health issues across the district.”

Four CSR commitments

As part of our CSR programme, we have also committed to four additional CSR initiatives for 2019. This includes environment, community, employee and charity. We’ve kicked off by pledging to go green through implementing a recycling system, reducing the use of single use plastics and using low energy lighting.

We will continue to run our ‘Approaching Employability’ programme throughout the year. We will work alongside local schools and offering expertise in a range of activities such as mock interviews and career fairs.

Suzanne added: “The community continues to be a focal point for our outreach activity and for the eight consecutive year we are providing free PR and social media support to help raise the profile of and drive footfall to Ilkley Carnival, which continues to raise funds for local groups and organisations. With this year’s theme now announced as ‘Shows and Musicals’, we’ve a lot of material to work with ahead of the carnival itself on May 6!”

What are your CSR plans for the year? Let us know @Approach_pr