23 February City leaders gather to discuss mental health and long-term physical conditions in the workplace
Impact Reception Welcomes Over 270 Guests to Mansion House
In November The Lord Mayor's Appeal hosted its annual Impact Reception, welcoming over 270 guests to Mansion House hosted by Alderman Alistair King, Lord Mayor Representative.
Highlighting the work of The Appeal across 12 months, it allowed participants to tell their stories of how its ground-breaking initiatives and partnerships with three charities: National Numeracy, MQ Mental Health Research and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has made a difference to Londoners across the last Mayoral year.
Kicking off the evening’s festivities, the St Benedict's Cadets Band associated with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award welcomed guests on Walbrook with a rousing performance, drawing a crowd of intrigued passers-by. Their participation in the event marked the end of The Lord Mayor’s Appeal’s four-year partnership with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award which has helped to fund 7,629 marginalised young people in London to take part in the award and trained 992 DofE leaders.
Meanwhile young pupils from a National Numeracy-funded London school were on hand to guide guests to The Salon. While enjoying a champagne reception, entertainment was provided by one DofE Gold Award participant and Youth Ambassador performing calisthenics. While National Numeracy Ambassador Mr MoneyJar Timi Merriman-Johnson lead a numeracy skills challenge and MQ: Mental Health Research’s “We Swear” campaign drew people into a pledge exercise around mental health.
After a welcome address by Alderman Alistair King, guests were guided into The Egyptian Hall or “Impact Room” to be taken on whistlestop tour of The Appeal’s year told by those that their work had impacted. First up was National Numeracy’s three-way conversation between Mr MoneyJar, Assistant Programme Manager of Tower Hamlets Idea Store and Numeracy Champion, Nikki Chatha and one of National Numeracy’s adult learners, which drilled home the message that low numeracy skills and number confidence creates a barrier in career progression. The “Every Londoner Counts” initiative championed by The Lord Mayor’s Appeal has trained 200 Numeracy Champions who are embedded within businesses, organisations and community groups to uplift adults grappling with low numeracy.
Another charity highlight was MQ Mental Health Research Ambassador Deepanshi Kaur Gulati. She explained how overcoming ill mental health led her to train as a psychotherapist and Peer Representative for Royal College of Psychiatrists so that the 1 in 4 people in the UK affected by mental illness don’t have to ‘live in the dark’ like she did. In the 12 months since their partnership started, The Lord Mayor’s Appeal has helped to fund a report into the full impact of the cost-of-living crisis on mental health and helped to create GALENOS – a resource making it easier for everyone including patients, funders and researchers to access scientific literature about anxiety, depression and psychosis.
Speaking on behalf of The Lord Mayor’s Appeal Corporate Partner and This is Me champions, DLA Piper, Lead Project Manager William Thomas was on hand to give examples of how the global law firm had been working to end the stigma of mental health in a corporate setting. This included Senior Leader buy in and using the This is Me tools such as storytelling, promoting wellbeing and encouraging staff members to wear the Green Ribbon. In 2023, City 82% of businesses that took up the This is Me campaign reported senior level buy in and 73% said that after taking part employees speak more freely about their mental health.
Another emotional part of the evening was a speech from a young We Can Be participant who shared her experience of spending the day in the City back in spring 2023. Having been selected to take part in The Lord Mayor’s Appeal’s initiative to empower young women to see themselves forging careers in the City, she found herself ‘believing she could be anything she wanted’. Serena Vaughan, Early Careers Attraction, Diversity Engagement Manager at The Appeal’s Corporate Partner Fidelity International, who hosted a class of young women, explained the importance of capturing young talent and how We Can Be played a vital part empowering 77% of We Can Be 2023 participants to feel confident they could take on a role in the City.
Melissa Fung, Inclusion and Diversity Specialist at Schroders, another of The Appeal’s Corporate Partners, shared the work they had been doing with Power of Inclusion - from participating in the initiative’s series of workshops on social mobility and the importance of networks to the Change Starts Together storytelling campaign. She spoke of the shared ambition to encourage those from diverse socio-economic backgrounds to start, develop and progress their careers in the City of London.
After starting with a video showcasing the best moments from The Lord Mayor’s Appeal’s City Giving Day, the yearly celebration of philanthropy across the City which had a record 571 companies taking part this year, the evening’s grand finale was an uplifting performance of “This is Me” from musical The Greatest Showman performed by the UBS choral society.
Read more about The Lord Mayor’s Appeal impact in the last 12 months here