3 December

This is Me welcomes new Programme Manager Bethan

The Lord Mayor's Appeal is thrilled to annouce a new addition to our team, This is Me Programme Manager Bethan Aspland, who brings a fresh take on on how we create A Healthy City and end the stigma around mental health in the workplace. Below we asked Bethan to tell us a bit more about herself...  

Hello - I’m Bethan, and I’m excited to introduce myself to you as the new This is Me Programme Manager. In 2015 - I was a competitive gymnast and coach, but then suddenly diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. Wheelchair bound for two years, I quickly became stressed, sad and withdrawn.  

But then I remembered a craft technique that I had learned as a child, iris folding, the process of folding paper strips to create a spiral effect, like a camera lens! Participating in such a mindful activity, help me find a sense of peace and escapism, bringing an element of joy back into my life. 

Then, when lockdown hit in 2020, I started sharing my story on Instagram, teaching others how to use paper craft as a self-care activity. Now, three years later, my family and I have built a successful business that manufactures and retails mindful craft supplies across the world. And with over 100,000 followers on social media, I continue to share my story and inspire others to find peace through paper crafting. 

However, as the business grew, my involvement, became more strategic and less hands-on, giving me the capacity to take on a new challenge. After identifying strong skills in project management and relationship building, and a clear passion for having a positive impact on others, I began to look for a role in an organisation where I could apply my skills to create positive change. 

Shortly after, I came across The Lord Mayor's Appeal and the This is Me programme. It was clear to me that the charity shared the same passion for helping those in need, and the programme specialised in an area close to my heart, positive mental wellbeing. I knew instantly this was the opportunity I’d be looking for, and soon after The Lord Mayor's Appeal team agreed with me! 

So, in early November I moved my whole life from a small countryside village in West Yorkshire, down to the big city of London and started my new role. It’s been a quick start to the job with our biggest fundraising event on my second day and a very full events calendar. But I am excited about the opportunity to use my skills to help improve the quality of life for others and I’m ready to support the program’s mission to reduce the stigma around mental health at work. 

I’ve had a busy first few weeks in the role, including chairing our This is Me Autumn event at BNY Mellon where we gathered with industry leaders to discuss how to create psychologically safe workplaces. Now I am working on our 2024 calendar, planning and organising a series of events and webinars to inspire and educate organisations on how to create cultural change and reduce the stigma around mental health in the workplace. I hope to see you at some of our events in 2024! 

To find out more about the This is Me programme and events in 2024, please email thisisme@thelordmayorsappeal.org

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