Three Initiatives that will leave you feeling Inspired
Anyone else feeling a little demoralised by the drizzly weather? Not to worry – reading about these inspiring initiatives is sure to give you a slightly more sunny disposition.
1. MENTAL HEALTH – Hook, line and sinker initiatives
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#Fishing provides a fantastic opportunity to reconnect and get back to nature. Remember, it’s #closeseason for coarse fishing on rivers until 16th June. But, while close season remains in place, there are still plenty of places you can fish legally. And if you have plans to fish this week, don’t forget that you need a licence. You can get yours via the link in our bio. #GetGFishing #FishingTime #FishingDaily #Angling #AnglingUK #AnglingLife #CarpFishing #PikeFishing
It’s fair to say our mental health has taken a collective pounding in recent months. A global pandemic, lockdown, the A-level fiasco… we could go on and on, but then we’re not keeping to our end of the “good news” bargain.
More of us – and, yes, BALANCE has had a go this summer – have turned to fishing to help with our mental health. After all, the all-round benefits are myriad: it’s outdoors, has meditational benefits and it means your phone stays safely stowed away (unless you want to drop it into the water).
Heidi Stone, Fisheries Manager at the Environment Agency, says: “Fishing licence sales have risen to an exceptional high against the last few years and we’re seeing a true revival for the sport as people recognise all it has to offer. As lockdown restrictions have eased there has been a boom in licence sales as now, more than ever, people have a desire to get outdoors and escape their daily stresses.
“Fishing is a sport that can be done by a person of any age or ability and it provides a great opportunity for families to try something new during the school holidays.”
In this joint initiative, The Mental Health Foundation has backed the Environment Agency’s call to fish, encouraging the pursuit of outdoor activities like fishing to help people deal with the impact of the pandemic since lockdown restrictions eased.
Dr Antonis Kousoulis, Director of the Mental Health Foundation, says: “Growing evidence suggests that spending time in ‘green’ and ‘blue’ spaces has a very positive effect on our mental health, providing protective and restorative benefits.
“Fishing remains one of the most popular outdoor activities in England and it is important for people’s mental health that they can continue to pursue this activity in a safe way both during and after the pandemic.”
And, if you want to get involved in this initiative, Clive Copeland, Head of Participation at the Angling Trust, adds: “After an understandably quiet period during lockdown, we have seen huge demand on angling clubs, coaches and fisheries since restrictions have eased.
“We’ve known for a long time that the wellbeing benefits of our sport are considerable and are very keen to promote the mental wellbeing elements of fishing through our work with Sport England and the Environment Agency. Going fishing helps recovery from and prevention of mental health issues, involves spending time by the water – which is brilliant for relaxation and aids concentration – it’s a fantastic way to spend time with family and enjoy an activity together.
“We’ve been working flat out ensuring that we meet demand and get as many people as possible involved in the sport at beautiful beginner-friendly locations around the country which are listed on our website, along with videos, top-tips and advice perfect for anyone who wants to give fishing a go. Now is a great time to try fishing – you can experience angling in a safe and positive way outdoors, in nature.”
The Environment Agency is calling on all to give the sport a go and see the benefits for themselves. To find out more about how to get a licence, click here.
2. ANIMAL INITIATIVES – Hair of the dog
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Thanks to @rickygervais we’re launching Street Dog: limited edition Punk IPA. We’re putting dog adoption ads from @alldogsmatter and @dotslondon on our cans to help them find new homes. 100% of profits will be donated to these amazing charities. Pre-order now. Link in bio.
If there’s one thing Ricky Gervais loves more than making people laugh, it’s animals. Ricky will always be a hero to BALANCE (cover star, first-ever podcast guest), and the great man has somehow gone up even further in our lofty estimations.
That’s because the After Life creator has teamed up with BrewDog, Dogs on the Streets and All Dogs Matter to help get dogs off the street. The move comes after Ricky gave a recent shout-out to Brew Dog on Twitter – and from this, one of the greatest initiatives has been born.
You can now look out for cans of Street Dog: a limited edition Punk IPA , available in 12 packs of 330ml cans, available for pre-order here. All profits generated from the sales of Street Dog will be split evenly between two charities.
Ricky says: “Dogs make me happy. Beer makes me happy. A beer that saves dogs makes me VERY happy.” James Watt, Co-found of BrewDog, adds: “At BrewDog we are always looking for ways to use our business to do good. When Ricky tweeted us with a genuine endorsement for Punk IPA, we wanted to use our platform to donate to causes he’s passionate about. We then decided to take it one step further and not only donate the profits from our Street Dog cans, but give our pawsome four legged friends over at Dogs on the Streets and All Dogs Matter, space on our cans to help them find forever homes.”
Michelle Clark, Founder of Dogs on the Streets, says: “The team at Dogs on The Streets are really excited to be working with BrewDog to shine a light on some of our amazing dogs looking for new homes. In the current climate it’s been amazing to work on such an uplifting project, raising awareness of our work with dogs living on the streets, and hopefully unite some of our ex street dogs with owners in forever homes!”
And Ira Moss, Founder of All Dogs Matter adds: “We have seen a big loss in income due to the ongoing pandemic, so we are thrilled that BrewDog is helping raise awareness of our work through this collaboration. Sadly, there are many unwanted and abandoned dogs needing homes across the UK and this campaign is a creative way of highlighting the importance of adoption instead of buying a dog. We hope the campaign is a huge success and thank our ambassadors, Ricky Gervais and Peter Egan for its inspiration.”
3. BLACK LIVES MATTER – Grime and reason
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We’re excited to share that Stormzy's #Merky Foundation has today pledged £500,000 to The Black Heart Foundation’s #EachDayEveryDay campaign! We’re the first UK charity to receive funding from the Merky Foundation’s £10 million fund to tackle racial inequality and injustice, announced back in June. This brings the total raised through our #EachDayEveryDay campaign to £1.45 million, including £500,000 of match funding from the Board of the Black Heart Foundation in response to the money raised on Just Giving and through offline donations. We’re grateful to #Merky Foundation and invigorated by their generosity, vision and shared commitment to higher and further education for ambitious, hard-working young people from the most under resourced and under-represented communities in our society. This means we can now reach another 50 young people – taking the total number of Black Heart Scholars we will have helped achieve their educational dreams to 250. Thank you to everyone that has donated, your response has been incredible! But we are NOT done yet! We know there are others who still want to help, so our invitation to get involved still stands. Please give what you can and be the change we want to see in our world. 💪🏽 🖤 Click the link in our bio or text BLACKHEART10 TO 70085 to give £10.
Stormzy has again proved to be one of music’s great philanthropists with the news he is donating £500,000 to fund scholarships for disadvantaged students. As reported by BALANCE at the time, the grime star had previously announced he will give away £10,000,000 across 10 years to help fight racial inequality as part of one of his ongoing initiatives, the Merky Foundation.
Ric Lewis of the Black Heart Foundation says of the £500,000 donation: “Their contribution is an amazing testament to their vision and commitment to higher and further education for ambitious, hardworking young people from the most under-resourced and under-represented communities in our society. With their support we will reach another 50 young people, taking the total number of scholars we can help up to 250.”
Got a good news story or feel-good initiatives to share? Email James on email@example.com