Our journey has been challenging but rewarding. Just over a year after Anthony died, Donna and Brian set up The Anthony Seddon Fund in July 2014. They were passionate about supporting others with mental health issues. They wanted to help those going through similar situations to themselves and raise awareness of mental health issues among the wider population. This passion has ensured we have not only grown but thrived as a charity!
Very early on a Sunday morning, we set up a stall on Ashton Market and began to sell our donations. The market stall became a great success, and the funds we raised were donated to Tameside, Oldham and Glossop Mind to work in schools in Tameside to educate and raise awareness of mental health in children and young people.
The Anthony Seddon Shop
With the fundraising being so successful, we decided on a shop base, and so came about the very first Anthony Seddon Fund Shop. The Charity Shop was more than just somewhere to drop off donations and buy things; it rapidly became a place where people would come to talk and share their experiences while they browsed. It was a place of care and support for the community. It also gave us somewhere to display information about organisations in Tameside offering mental health support.
The Anthony Seddon Centre
As the charity and its customer base grew, the number of people looking for information, support, or just someone to talk to outgrew what the shop could cope with. This was when we decided to acquire another property to provide a supportive environment for people with mental health worries. The Centre allows us to provide a safe, supportive environment for anyone. We display and share information about other local mental health services and offer facilities to chat comfortably about anything. It is also the base where our support groups and mental health projects take place; take a look at What We Do.
We are now into our 10th year as a charity (time flies!). Little did we know the impact Anthony’s death would have on us as a family, but we are so proud to deliver our services in Anthony’s name.
We are embedded in our local community, delivering a range of activities from our Centre and using our voice to influence mental health services and suicide prevention at the local and Greater Manchester levels. Our Centre is based in St. Peter’s Ward, Ashton-under-Lyne, which is in the 10% most deprived urban areas on the Index of Multiple Deprivation, and there is an increasing need for our service and the support we provide.
Our charity, like many others, is facing a challenging time financially with rising costs, reduced donations, and increasing demand. We were recently awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service with a special recognition award for our work during COVID-19. At a time when others shut their doors, we were able to adapt our service, go out to the people most in need, and make sure our most vulnerable community members were still supported.