A committed fundraising group has joined a campaign to help improve access to mental health services in Dorchester.

The Dorchester and District Lions decided to team up with Dorset Mind and David Upshall Insurance Services after the campaign’s launch event at Kingston Maurward College. 

The evening event, which aimed to raise awareness of mental health issues and David Upshall’s support for Dorset Mind, was attended by businesses and key members of the community and included a very personal presentation by ex-mayoress Anita Harries.

Dr Andy Mayers, Dorset Mind’s patron, also spoke at the launch and explained that the campaign was an attempt to address the lack of support for mental health in Dorchester and west Dorset, by establishing more mental health services in the area.

As a result of the presentation, the members of the Dorchester and District Lions were inspired to support what they thought was an excellent initiative, recognising the good it would do for the local community.

Andy Rose from the Dorchester and District Lions said: “The club is proud to be associated with David’s important campaign, working with MIND to improve mental services in the Dorchester area.

“As a community service organisation, Lions are only too aware of how mental illness can impact directly and indirectly on individuals and families alike, irrespective of age and situation.”

He added that the campaign hopes to establish a befriending service in the DT1 and DT2 area, where people struggling with mental illness can receive one-to-one support from a trained volunteer, before expanding the campaign to provide other services.

And because start-up costs for such initiatives can be considerable, members of the Dorchester and District Lions believe that, with the support of the local community, they can help get the initiative off the ground. 

Mr Rose added: “Already David, together with Anita Harries, have put together a fundraising calendar of varied and interesting events for this year, and the Lions look forward to providing support at these events.”

The Lions are planning to help organise a quiz night in the autumn to help fill the coffers of the campaign and David Upshall Insurance Services will be the main sponsor of the Lions Fun Run in May 2018, when Dorset Mind will be a main benefactor. 

To donate to the cause, search Dorset Mind West at uk.virginmoneygiving.com