Digital technology has become an essential part of fundraising during these difficult times, as charities have adapted to a new way of gaining funds and connecting with donors. At PayPal Giving Fund Ireland, we wanted to turn attention to charities that have enrolled with us to learn about the challenges they’re facing and how we’re helping them. This week the spotlight is on mental health charity, A Lust for Life.
What’s it all about?
A Lust for Life began as a personal story of a man, Niall ‘Bressie’ Breslin, who struggled with his own mind and mental health. He started a blog called ‘My 1000 Hours’ about his own story and soon discovered that sharing his experiences helped others. On October 1st 2015, A Lust for Life was born; starting life as a website for people to share personal stories and get expert insight and information from a wide range of mental health professionals.
Since then we have worked to educate, uplift, support and empower by normalising the conversation around mental health and wellbeing through our website and social media content. We advocate for systemic change – maintaining regular constructive solution-based dialogue with government and policymakers on key issues pertaining to mental health. We partner with media to influence cultural change – providing a platform for the issues and stories that need to be heard. And more recently, we have launched new programmes to help young people by equipping and empowering them with the skills and tools to become effective guardians of their minds.
How are things going?
We've achieved a lot in a few short years and this year we're piloting a new programme for more than 20 primary schools across Ireland with a plan to roll out to all primary schools in 2021. Last year we developed a Netflix-style platform that enables primary children to access engaging mental health content in an accessible, fun and scalable way and designed to build psychological flexibility and resilience. This project won the 2019 Google Impact Award and additional Judges Choice Award.
In 2018 we launched the 'Where There’s A Will' podcast series, bringing together some of the best minds in Ireland’s mental health sector to deconstruct our mental health system – including why it's failing us and what we can do to create sustainable systemic change. As of September 2019, we have 15,000 subscribers and won a Mental Health Media Award in the same year.
We've also launched advocacy campaigns such as #AnyonesBrother (to highlight the Dual Diagnosis issue) and ‘In Our Hour of Need’ (a partnership with Mental Health Reform, Future Voices and Uplift to call for 24/7 community-based mental health services).
Why PayPal Giving Fund?
PayPal Giving Fund helps us enormously in many ways, firstly because PayPal is a very well trusted payments portal. The fact that we have passed the PayPal regulatory process reassures donors that their money is going where it is intended to go and, of course, being able to use PayPal makes giving easier for our donors as it is an intuitive, simple-to-use service.
More importantly, not paying fees on donations impacts our bottom line and for a small charity such as ours, this is a noticeable difference. Such assistance is vital in these difficult times.
To find out more about A Lust for Life, visit our website