Jason Iley, chairman of The BRIT Awards 2019 and Sony Music UK chairman & CEO, has presented a £250,000 cheque to Mind, The BRIT School For Performing Arts and Technology and other mental health initiatives at a special event held at The BRIT School in Croydon, London.
Iley was accompanied by London rapper and former BRIT School student Loyle Carner, to mark The BRITs’ ongoing support towards mental health wellbeing and awareness for young people.
Speaking about the donation, Jason Iley said: “There is so much to be gained from investing in the mental health of future generations. I’m delighted that The BRIT Trust Charity is once again in a position to make a donation to such a worthwhile and significant cause. I hope that the continuation of our investment will keep this important issue at the top of the cultural and political agenda.”
Loyle Carner added: “The BRIT School really helped me and took the time to understand my ADHD. The counselling I received during my time at school changed my life. It’s really important that young men and women have a space to talk about how they feel without being judged or embarrassed because being a human being isn’t easy. The music industry needs to help people understand the vulnerability of successful artists...you can have everything, but also lose everything.”
The event was hosted by The BRIT School principal Stuart Worden, who was joined by Mind’s director of networks and communities Karen Mellanby, Music Support MD Eric Mtungwazi, principal of East London Arts and Music (ELAM) School Mik Nelson, Urban Development director Pamela McCormick and Music for Mental Health founder Laura Westcott, and included three BRIT School student performances; a musical number by a choir of 75 Year 12 students, a spoken word reading by DeAndre Bondzie and a drama piece by Saskia Moon and Tatiana Wortley.
Speaking about the day, Geoff Taylor, chief executive BPI & BRIT Awards, said: “The work of The BRITs and The BRIT Trust to promote education and wellbeing through music has never been more important. There is rightly a new focus on supporting the mental health of people who work in the music community and more widely across society, and I am proud that we are able to make these substantial donations to Mind, The BRIT School and other charities that champion wellbeing. We need to help address the treatable causes of poor mental health rather than deal with their damaging consequences.”
Mental health charity Mind will once again be a beneficiary of the 2019 BRITs as part of their ongoing partnership with The BRIT Awards. The partnership was announced in 2018, and contributed to the successful pilot of the charity’s Whole School Approach in 17 UK schools (including The BRIT School), which supported 19,846 people across England and Wales by introducing a comprehensive programme on mental health well-being.
Karen Mellanby, director of networks & communities at Mind, said: “We are thrilled that The BRIT Trust has chosen to support this vital area of Mind’s work for a second year running. Thousands of pupils, staff and parents have already been supported with their mental health and wellbeing, and this additional funding will help us continue our work in schools into the next academic year, and see us expand the project to start working with two additional schools.”
As one of the first schools to pilot Mind’s Whole School Approach, The BRIT School will use the donation from The BRIT Awards 2019 to support their dedicated mental health wellbeing and special needs programme, which will continue to serve students and staff alike to focus on promoting mental health wellbeing. This amount is in addition to the other BRIT Trust grants regularly made to the school.
Further funds will be distributed to Music Support, ELAM, Urban Development and Music for Mental Health to support their individual mental health well-being initiatives.