The word from the bird.

Meet the charity: SANE

10th February 223 mins
By Toucan

Ahead of the launch of our first ever Impact Fund (more on that soon), we chatted with Simone from SANE to hear about all the amazing work the charity does. 

Please tell us your name and role at your charity

My name is Simone and I am the  community and events officer.

Which charity do you support? 


What does SANE do?

SANE is a UK-wide mental health charity that aims to improve quality of life for anyone affected by mental illness. The charity provides free, confidential emotional support and care for people affected by mental ill-health, including families, friends, and carers. We also deal with the stigma surrounding mental illness, educate, and campaign to improve mental health services. The charity promotes and hosts research into the causes and more effective treatments of mental illness such as schizophrenia and depression and the psychological and social impact of mental illness.

Where is your SANE based and where do they do most of their work?

SANE is based in Islington, London and provides confidential emotional support, guidance, and information across the UK.  

What sort of things do you use donations for? Can you give any specific examples?

The donations are used towards SANEline, text care service, most recently with email services and towards promoting and hosting research into the causes and more effective treatments of mental illness.

  • Every £10 you donate enables a person to receive the precious gift of 30 minutes personal and emotional support.

  • A gift of £500 could answer 50 calls from people in crisis – providing understanding, compassion and guidance.

  • A gift of £1,300 could train a new volunteer – equipping them with the skills needed to provide high quality support to people in crisis, distress or despair.

  • A gift of £5,000 could provide guidance and psychological support from our experienced therapists for those who are isolated, vulnerable and in need of longer term help.

What have you worked on that you're most proud of? 

My main focus is to bring as many fundraisers as possible to support SANE’s beneficiaries. An efficient way to do that is by advertising the events on social media, our website, but also by using third parties who will have them listed on their website. And for the latter one, a financial budget is needed and it might take a while to see the positive results of the investment.

During the Coronavirus lockdown we needed to find more ways to reach fundraisers. I suggested to invest in advertising our events on Timeoutdoors and it led to more income generation to the charity, which I am very proud of.  😊

What are the biggest challenges still to overcome?

The fundamental challenges faced by those affected by mental illness are the lack of support in a crisis; challenges with navigating the mental health system and accessing the right ongoing support; and social isolation. SANE aims to reach more people, who maybe struggling and in need of emotional support, guidance, and information at a time of escalating demand for our support.   

What have you and your charity got planned for the next 12 months?

At the start of the pandemic SANE launched an emergency email service to support more people affected by mental illness. We now want to build on this to reach more people who may be struggling and in need of emotional support, guidance and information.

People affected by mental illness often face long waiting lists for help or don’t have the energy to battle complex referral routes. SANE’s email service enables us to reach people within hours of them contacting us - 7 days a week, 365 days a year

We need support to open up this service even further. We are currently inundated by emails and this is likely to increase as restrictions relax. With funding we'll be able to respond to more emails and help many more people affected by mental illness.

Other than donating, what’s the one thing people can do to support your charity and its mission?

By campaigning for SANE, you can support our cause and mission. You can leave SANE donation tins in shops in your area, add SANE’s social media tags to your social media so your friends get to know about the charity, talk openly about mental illness with people and let them know about SANE’s services. Explore your options and get creative.  

Support SANE by searching for them in the app or head to their website

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