The ripple effect of small actions can be unknown and invaluable. Time to Talk day is all about recognising the importance and value of being there, in however small a way, to make a difference – whether that’s at work, at home, or in the community – and in support of people we know well or perhaps not at all.
Over the past two years, ACT has supported men’s suicide prevention charity, James’ Place. The start of our relationship with James’ Place originates from an example of the immense power of a small, everyday action – talking.
In 2022, while on a lunchtime walk, two Ardonagh colleagues helped a man near London Bridge who was experiencing a mental health crisis. Later that day he was due to have an appointment at James’ Place. On learning of their actions and James’ Place’s incredible work, we committed to helping the charity expand their services with a three-year donation.
Since then, ACT’s total donation of £35,000 has supported James’ Place to deliver in its mission to prevent men dying by suicide, with the funding enabling 14 men to receive the full suite of free counselling services provided by the charity.
Suicide remains the most prevalent cause of death of men under the age of 50. The charity was founded in memory of James, who died by suicide aged just 21 after a short crisis. His family wanted to ensure other men could access support that James was unable to find, and have worked tirelessly since to offer a service that helps men in the immediate onset of crisis.
James’ Place specifically aims to help men from the very earliest stages of suicidal crisis – providing free treatment to men in a space where they feel safe, valued, and respected. Incredibly, the men supported by the charity are seen by a professional therapist within 48 hours of being referred, after which they are supported for typically around two months with dedicated sessions to help them through crisis – and all at no cost to the individual.
Since officially opening its permanent East London home 2022, and in addition to its first centre in Liverpool, James’ Place is expanding to open further sites across the UK – with Newcastle having just opened its doors at the start of 2024. Together, these centres will provide a network that means half of all men in England are within 2-hours’ drive of support when it matters most.
To date, James’ Place has supported more than 1,800 through crisis to find hope for the future. The ultimate effects of this are unquantifiable. Each person has a family, friends, a network of colleagues and acquaintances – personally and societally, the consequences of James’ Place’s work is invaluable.
In addition to the funding, ACT and Ardonagh colleagues have got behind raising awareness of James’ Place and its incredible services.
In 2022, the ACT team were delighted to visit the then newly opened London centre and talking to one of the therapists to learn first-hand about how James’ Place makes a difference and the charity’s mission to open further centres across England to take its services to all those who need them.
To mark Mental Health Awareness Week in 2023, Advisory colleagues, Ecclesiastical Insurance and ACT came together to organise a charity day alongside James’ Place to raise awareness of the charity’s life-saving work and to champion mental health. Together, colleagues enjoyed a 10km walk between the Harp Lane office and James’ Place near Moorgate, followed by a visit where colleagues met some of the centre’s therapists and experienced some of the techniques used in therapy sessions. The day was a huge success and raised a total of over £10,000.
Look back on the charity walk and learn about James’ Place’s work from one of the charity’s therapists.
Learn more about James’ Place by visiting their website, https://www.jamesplace.org.uk/
Find out more about Time to Talk day on the dedicated website https://timetotalkday.co.uk/
Through our charity partnerships we deepen our support for the causes our Ardonagh people care about. Read more about our support for key spotlight causes on the Charity Partnerships page of the ACT website.