Wilko is donating 12,000 teabags –  that’s over 4,000 litres of tea –  to a Nottingham initiative that supports the mental health of locals who may be feeling isolated and alone during these times of national lockdown.

The Fancy A Cuppa campaign comes just in time for National Mental Health Awareness Week, and helps to particularly shed a light on older members of the community that may be feeling anxious, alone or depressed during lockdown; although the campaign does support those of all ages who may be struggling with their mental health admid the pandemic.

Wilko is working in partnership with Nottingham Forest in the Community and Nottingham City Council to give out teabags and a positive postcard to those who may be feeling alone, all while encouraging people to pick up the phone and have a natter with someone they know over a cup of tea.

Sadly, since the national lockdown began, feelings of lonliness and isolation in the over 70s has shot up, with charities such as Age UK even having to set up an emergency appeal to support older people during the outbreak. The Age UK Advice Line has seen an unprecedented number of calls since the crisis hit, peaking at a shocking 88% increase in demand[i] as the elderly are separated from loved ones, and may well be facing this alone.

Wilko is especially keen to help older people via its community work during the crisis and many of its support centre team members have volunteered to help run a helpline for one of its charity partners, Alzheimer’s Society. The donation to the Fancy A Cuppa campaign is one of many that the homes and garden retailer is undertaking across the UK to provide support for the elderly.

Jerome Saint-Marc, Wilko CEO, said: “We know that this crisis is hitting the elderly and other vulnerable members of our community hard, with levels of lonliness and isolation sadly increasing. We wanted to help people feel less alone by supporting the Fancy A Cuppa campaign, allowing people to have a chat over a cup of tea and hope this small gesture will encourage some older people who may be feeling lonely to reach out to a loved one.  

“We’re incredibly proud of and thankful to our team members across the entire business who have done a phenomenal job in ensuring hardworking families have access to the products they need and we appreciate the extra mile they’re going to support local causes and communities throughout the UK.”

Graham Moran, CEO of Nottingham Forest Community Trust, said: “We are delighted to be working alongside Wilko and Nottingham City Council in promoting positive mental wellbeing in our communities through the Fancy a Cuppa campaign.

“The very generous donation of teabags from wilko will hopefully help to bring smiles to lots of peoples faces during Mental Health Awareness Week.”

Cllr Eunice Campbell-Clark, Portfolio Holder for Health, HR and Equalities, said: “I know that even at the best of times, loneliness and isolation are a big problem in today’s society. These issues can affect anyone, at any time of life, but as an Older Person’s Champion, I am particular concerned about our more elderly residents during the current lockdown.”

“If you know someone, who you suspect might be struggling right now, please do reach out and give them a call.  Please make a cuppa, give them a call and have a chat, show you care – you may be the person who makes the world of difference to their day.”

Local Police, community and faith groups along with volunteers are also assisting the Council’s Community Protection Team and Nottingham Forest in the the Community with the distribution of the teabags and postcards.

Each of the postcards reads: “A cup of tea and a chat won’t fix every problem,

but it can make us feel a bit better. Why not make a cuppa for someone you live with, connect online for a virtual tea break or just make a brew and pick up the phone for a natter.”