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National charity PAPYRUS, Prevention of Young Suicide, has received a bumper donation of more than £50,000 from the Birmingham office of Irwin Mitchell after colleagues at the law firm spent last year raising funds to support the charity’s work.

PAPYRUS was nominated by Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office to be its Charity of the Year for 2019 as part of a nationwide programme developed by the Irwin Mitchell Charities Foundation (IMCF).

Established in 1997, IMCF is an independent registered charity set up by the firm which has now donated more than £2 million to third sector organisations.

Irwin Mitchell staff raised just under £420,000 for good causes across the UK in 2019, with the Birmingham team’s £50,379 donation to PAPYRUS one of the largest sums raised by any of the firm’s 14 offices.

PAPYRUS was founded in 1997 by Lancashire mum Jean Kerr, following the loss of her son to suicide. Suicide is the biggest killer of under-35s in the UK and thousands more contemplate it.

PAPYRUS aims to confront the issue, by shattering the stigma surrounding suicide and equipping young people and communities with skills to recognise and respond to suicidal behaviour. The money raised by the Birmingham office will go towards ensuring the charity’s vital work continues.

The £50,379 raised by the Birmingham office, would pay for 10,000 text or email conversations with a young person in need to HOPELINEUK; or 2,500 calls to a HOPELINE advisor.

The Birmingham office team raised the money in several ways, including events in the local community. A charity football match at Aspray arena last year, that saw an Irwin Mitchell team take on an all-star squad including Blackpool’s Curits Tilt and ex-Wolves man Lee Naylor raised over £1,000.

A team of Birmingham colleagues also took on the Wolf Run in September, braving the woods, obstacles, lakes and fields to raise just under £3,000 on a Sunday afternoon.

Lisa Jordan, the regional managing partner at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to present such a large donation to such a fantastic cause within the local community.

Our Charity of the Year initiative is something our people are very passionate about. Everyone worked extremely hard throughout 2019 to raise as much as possible for PAPYRUS. The charity is keeping people alive and we are proud to have played a part in ensuring their work continues.”

Liam Durkan, Corporate Fundraising Officer at PAPYRUS, said: “This is an amazing support, helping us to reach out to more young people who are struggling between life and death, as well as those who are worried that a young person they know could be having thoughts of suicide.

Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in the UK and our vision is for a society which speaks openly about suicide and has the resources to help young people who may have suicidal thoughts.

Support like this enables us to continue undertaking such necessary work locally. It has been a pleasure working with Irwin Mitchell this year so a huge thank you to everyone at Birmingham team for their generosity.”

For practical, confidential suicide prevention help and advice contact PAPYRUS HOPELINEUK tel 0800 068 41 41 text 07860 039 967 email pat@papyrus-uk.org

Kate Buckle
Article by Kate Buckle
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