A charity providing life-changing support to people experiencing body image issues has launched a new crowdfunding campaign this month, asking Brits and businesses to #BringTheSupport.
The #BringTheSupport campaign was created by Been There in a bid to source £40,000 of funding to secure more Mentors for its pioneering support programme. It also hopes to raise awareness about the lifelines it’s offering to the growing number of people experiencing body image issues in the UK.
People are already taking to social media to share the campaign hashtag and help drive donations. Celebrities and influencers including Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge, rugby star Tom Howe and mental health warrior and makeup free Miss GB contestant Elle Seline are also getting involved.
Launched over lockdown, Been There is a new app that uses a safe and secure platform to connect those in need with vetted, trained Mentors (all of whom have experienced issues with negative body image).
Been There’s founder, Tessa Peters, spent years struggling with bulimia before transforming her experience into an inspirational and innovative charity. By combining perspective, personal experience and expert guidance she’s created a service that is real and relatable.
Since its launch, the charity has grown at speed with an increasing demand for more Mentors and Mentoring spaces. Through the #BringTheSupport campaign, the Been There team hopes to expand its service from 60 Mentoring spaces to 600 per year with the support of public and partner funding.
In its first three weeks of fundraising, the campaign has already secured over £36,000 with donations heading in daily. British Airways have match fund donations to the amount of £20,000, helping the charity fuel its Mentor-seeking mission. Been There until close of the Crowdfunder on November 6th to raise the remaining £4,000 and to achieve their goal.
According to research by the Mental Health Foundation*, 80% of people agree that their body image has a negative impact on their mental health. And yet, 64% of people that had accessed or tried to access health services relating to body image issues felt that their experience was either negative or strongly negative.
Tessa Peters, CEO and founder of Been There, said:
“As the stats show, when you’re experiencing body image issues it can be really difficult to find relatable help. Even when you have the support of friends and family, sometimes you need to talk to someone beyond your immediate circle, someone who really gets your issues. Finding someone who can relate to your struggles can be one of the most impactful parts of the recovery process; and that’s where we come in.
“At Been There, we wanted to create a system built on accessibility and authenticity. We use an app to help connect our community, but we team this tech with real and relatable Mentors to support, empower and listen to those in need.
“During my own journey with body issues, the Mentor I found had a profound impact on me. In fact, the relationship we had was lifesaving. We understand that times are tight for lots of businesses and people right now but if you can make a donation, or simply help share our story, you’ll play a part in setting up similar lifelines for others.
“Within a few months of launching Been There, we were inundated with people wanting access to our Mentors and the demand only continues to rise. With this funding we hope to expand the service we’ve established even further and offer more opportunities to the growing number of people who struggle with their body image and mental health.”
Those wanting to learn more about the #BringTheSupport campaign, or make a donation, can visit https://bacommunityfund.co.uk/p/beenthere. Anyone looking to become a Mentor is also invited to find out more on the charities website https://beenthereapp.com/be-a-mentor/ or apply on the Been There app which is free to download from Google Play or the App Store.
*Source: Mental Health Foundation, 2019 Body image report - Executive Summary