Dunelm, the UK homewares retailer, is launching an initiative to train all of its store café colleagues on mental health awareness in 2022.

Staff who work in Dunelm’s Pausa coffee shops, will upskill through dedicated workshops to train them in conversations about mental health and how to recognise key warning signs.

The news comes as Dunelm announces a two-year partnership to support mental health across the UK ahead of World Mental Health Day on 10th October. The partnership aims to raise awareness of mental health and reduce the stigma often associated with it. The national partnership will see Dunelm partner with Mind, in England and Wales and affiliated mental health charities, SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health), in Scotland and Inspire, in Northern Ireland.

As part of the collaboration, Dunelm has set a fundraising goal of £1 million but the retailer wants to go one step further and ensure colleagues are suitably skilled and have the right resources and signposting in-store, should someone need mental health support.  

Amanda Cox, who heads up Dunelm’s People and Stores team, said: “This is first and foremost about giving our colleagues the skills so that they’re better equipped, and feel comfortable, to have conversations about mental health with fellow colleagues. We’ll also be providing them with the knowledge of the resources available so they know where to direct people who need relevant support.”

In order to help Pausa staff to recognise and respond to mental health needs accordingly, virtual training sessions will be taking place hosted by mental health trainer and therapist, Lisa Wisher.

The training will offer essential advice, support and resources to help Dunelm’s colleagues, customers, and communities.

Nick Wilkinson, Dunelm CEO says: “Mind was the charity voted for by our colleagues, which makes it an extra special and exciting partnership for us. As the pandemic continues to significantly impact people, the right comprehensive support has never been more important. When I think about Mind’s objectives and what they are seeking to do, I am filled with admiration and inspiration for the size of their ambition and proud that we at Dunelm can play a small part in making a difference to the fantastic work they do.” 

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen by Dunelm colleagues as the beneficiary of this fundraising partnership. It’s also great to see the commitment from Dunelm in training its Pausa colleagues in mental health awareness. This past year, many of us have dealt with challenges including bereavement, loneliness and isolation, and we will be seeing the mental health consequences of the pandemic for a long time to come. That’s why it’s never been more important that anyone experiencing a mental health problem can access the support they need and deserve. The generosity and ambition of Dunelm colleagues will help us, along with SAMH and Inspire, to provide that support to as many people who need it as possible.” 

As part of the partnership with Mind, SAMH & Inspire, Dunelm will also be hosting ongoing fundraising and awareness driving activities in-store and across its support centres throughout the year. 

For more information please visit www.dunelm.com/charity.

To find out more about the Mind resources on offer ahead of World Mental Health Day, please visit:


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