MHNE take their concerns to the top

North East mental health champions Mental Health North East (MHNE) have written to Richard Branson to express anger and concern at the planned closure of the Northern Rock Foundation.

The bank-funded Foundation, which has given more than £200m to hundreds of charities over the past 16 years, announced on Tuesday it was being wound up.

The Foundation had been funded through Northern Rock's profits but failed to agree future funding with Virgin Money, which bought Northern Rock in 2011.

MHNE say the loss of the Foundation will almost inevitably lead in turn to the closure of local small scale charities and organisations that rely on the Foundation’s funding to do their vital good work.

In her letter to Richard Branson on behalf of Mental Health North East, CEO Lyn Boyd praises the Northern Rock Foundation as a “well run, efficient organisation sharing a small proportion of Northern Rock profits with those in need.”

She adds: “In my role I get to know many organisations that have benefitted from their grants, in particular charities working with and on behalf of people with mental health difficulties and learning disabilities, including my own organisation. The Northern Rock Foundation goes to great lengths to ensure this investment is spent prudently and wisely and the lives of many people have been transformed for the better as a result.”

Lyn adds: “What now will be the legacy of Northern Rock in our region? Some jobs will be lost as soon as the Foundation closes, many more jobs will be lost in the charitable sector as a result of the loss of grants from the foundation. The legacy of Northern Rock bank in the North will indeed be a bitter and painful one if this decision stands.”

Read the full letter HERE.