This is an appeal, and I need you to read this. I need you to share this with the people you know who can help. Please don’t close the browser tab, and I promise you my normal writings will return.
My name is Tim Nash,
I am an active member of the WordPress community here in the UK.
I have been open in the past about my mental well-being and I hope I continue to be. For many it’s hidden away; 1 in 4 people will experience some sort of mental health problem each year according to the charity Mind. We normally do not speak out, but even if you haven’t experienced issues, your friends and co-workers will have done so.
I am one of the volunteers at WP&UP. WP&UP is a UK registered charity whose goal is to promote positive well-being. I know, right now you are desperately thinking of a million things you would rather be doing than reading this because you know where it’s going but please stay with me, I need you to read every word, as painful as they are; we can’t afford to look away.
WP&UP is a charity that saves lives, that helps people within our community when they need help and companionship. There are people alive today because this charity exists. It is helping your friends and colleagues, it might be helping you too.
There are also people for whom the charity was too late, and out of its reach and even in the small UK WordPress community last year came the death of one of our own through suicide. There are many more it simply cannot reach. We simply will never be able to help everyone but from the moment of conception, the scale and challenge was immense, and one that WP&UP has faced head-on with everything it can. Mental health doesn’t get borders, while WP&UP is a UK Charity, it reaches and aims to help the entire WordPress community.
You would think the biggest issue facing WP&UP is our inability to reach people, that we are having trouble making sure people can find us. That’s not the case. While our events have been UK-focused, our companionship service has been used by people across the globe, including countries where the stigma of mental health is so bad that just talking to us could have repercussions for individuals if found out. We keep their confidences, provide companionship and, where possible, mentorship. But we want to do more, we have more people every day reaching out for support, we are reaching people. That is not the issue.
Bluntly we have no money. This isn’t “we want to do all these cool crazy things”, this is:
Many companies have started to have conversations with us about sponsorship or donations. For many, they see it as a marketing opportunity, a way to show they are aware of the problem and are helping to tackle mental health. Unfortunately when donations/sponsorship for mental health comes out of a marketing budget as “marketing decision” then people see it as a line item to be haggled over, to get at a minimum cost yet to maximise the ROI for the company. The result – companies often approach us talking big numbers but leave with tokens. To-date our largest donor is a single individual not a company, let that sink in.
You would think companies would consider that if they see the marketing opportunity they would also see the real reason to sponsor/donate; what we do is directly benefiting them every day. After all, it’s their employees we are helping and in doing so we are helping their businesses stay afloat. For companies, especially those with remote employees, you would expect to see mental health and positive well-being front and centre of their ethos, and WP&UP sponsorship would show that.
You would, it would seem, be wrong; this is why I’m writing this, because we need to change their minds and we have an incredibly small window in which to achieve this.
If I have ever helped you in the past then I ask you to consider donating and sponsoring WP&UP as an individual or company
While individuals donating is amazing, and please do, for us to reach the goals we need companies to step up.
I need you to ask your boss why they haven’t, we need people within companies to start looking at their company and asking why are we not sponsoring/donating.
For the companies that are, or who have offered money, thank you, I truly mean it; you are amazing and so the next words are hard to say. We need more, we need you to step up. This isn’t about logos on websites, it’s about lives. Let’s work together to work out what you need, how we can help, but short-term we need more and as our existing donors you’ve seen the value. Please help.
We need volunteers, we need people to become companions, we need folks with technical knowledge to help out, but above all we need money.
This is incredibly personal for me, WP&UP has, in many ways, changed my life through the community and friends I have through the charity. Everyone involved in the charity are my friends and these people haven’t just put their time in but, in some cases, their entire life savings.
Individuals are currently holding up WP&UP while companies ask for discounts because mental health doesn’t fit into their marketing budget.
Most appeals work by telling you a story about someone, how you can help, before showing what your money will do to change things.
I’m going to keep it simple:
Your money will allow us to say in a year, people are still alive who might not have been.
Your money will help us to provide companionship and to roll out our counselling services. To help us expand our physical, business and skills hubs and give people a boost.
Your money will help us be there to help, and if you need us you can reach us via WP&UP Support.
WP&UP is a registered charity, they, we, I need you to help, be it financial, sharing this post or asking your boss to get involved.
Thank you. You read this far, you’re already awesome. Thank you and together we will Press Forward.