George Best Belfast City Airport has appointed AWARE as its new charity partner of the year, aiming to raise vital funds to provide support to those affected by depression and ill mental health across Northern Ireland.
Founded in 1996, AWARE, the only charity in Northern Ireland working exclusively for those with depression and bipolar disorder, has an established network of 24 support groups across the country and delivers information outreach sessions as well as mental health and well-being programmes into communities, schools, colleges, universities, and workplaces.
The charity hopes to increase public understanding of depression, reduce the stigma surrounding the illness, help people build mental resilience, and provide advice and tools on maintaining positive mental health.
Speaking of the new partnership, Human Resources and CR Manager at Belfast City Airport, Stephen Patton, said:
“People and community are two long-standing strands of the airport’s corporate responsibility strategy, so we are thrilled to partner with AWARE, a charity committed to helping individuals and providing support networks right across Northern Ireland.
“Mental health issues can affect anyone at any time but by quashing the stigma of it being a taboo subject and raising awareness of coping mechanisms, tools, and support programmes available in Northern Ireland, we can all work collectively towards better mental health.”
Emphasising the airport’s focus on mental health, Stephen continued:
“As a responsible business, the well-being of our staff is of paramount importance.
“We are confident that this partnership will not only generate awareness externally of the fantastic work that the charity does and raise vital funds to support the delivery of their programmes in our region, but that we as an organisation will reap the benefits too as we look to train staff and equip our people with knowledge and tools to maintain positive mental health.”
Commenting on the new partnership, Corporate Relationship Officer of AWARE, Lisa Abell-Farrelly, said:
“We are incredibly grateful that Belfast City Airport has chosen AWARE as its charity partner of the year.
“Unfortunately anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder continue to affect young people and adults across Northern Ireland, and this has only been exacerbated by the global pandemic.
“Our services are needed now more than ever and this backing from Belfast City Airport couldn’t have come at a better time.
“We look forward to working with them on some exciting activities and fundraising events in the future.”
To find out more about the services offered by AWARE or how you can support the charity’s fundraising efforts, please visit https://aware-ni.org/