Shining a Light on Mental Health

Shining a Light on Mental Health

The third Monday in January is commonly known as Blue Monday and is said to be the most depressing day of the year. Blue Monday relates to the underlying issue that one in four people in the UK is said to suffer from poor mental health at some point in their lives.   

Throughout 2017 the Group will be focusing on mental health through our Charity Partnership with Mental Health UK, and work is underway across the Group to promote a supportive culture where it’s ok, and normal, to talk about mental health.

Genie in the Gutter

One organisation which has already benefited from our help is Genie in the Gutter, a social enterprise based in Liverpool which helps people with mental health and substance abuse issues by using creative and performance-based sessions. They also offer support through health and wellbeing and digital inclusion, as well as working with clients on a one-to-one basis.   

In 2015 the organisation had a social value impact of over £2,753,041 delivering a saving to society of £612,300 and saving the NHS more than £178,000 by helping people with mental illness.  

School for Social Entrepreneurs

Last year Genie in the Gutter’s founder Carolyn Edwards graduated from the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs 'Scale Up' programme, delivered in partnership with the School for Social Entrepreneurs and the Big Lottery Fund.  

Carolyn said: “The programme was what I needed, it gave me a lot of support, increased my confidence and I found the people running it very refreshing.”  

Carolyn, set up Genie in the Gutter in 2008 with her brother, who had been in recovery from alcoholism. She saw how much confidence creative arts had given him during his recovery process.   

As part of the Scale Up Programme, the organisation received a £15,000 grant as well as access to experts, workshops and networking events.  The money was used towards salaries for a project manager and a recovery worker. Genie in the Gutter currently employs four full-time staff, 10 apprentices and up to 15 volunteers.   


Mental illness affects more people every year than cancer or heart disease. One in four of us in the UK will be affected by a mental health issue in any given year, and of these around four million will also struggle will their financial wellbeing.

We are proud to be working in partnership with Mental Health UK, with colleagues across the Group volunteering and aiming to raise at least £2 million per year.  Together, we will establish the UK’s first combined Mental Health and Money Advice Service.  It will offer practical, personal guidance and information for any member of the public who is worried about their finances as a result of mental illness, or vice versa. 


Helping Communities Prosper

Communities across Britain are facing significant challenges. We’re helping to address them through our Helping Britain Prosper Plan. We believe no other bank is better placed to do this. We already serve approximately 25 million customers and 1 million small businesses but we want to be more than a bank. We want to go beyond business as usual and help address systemic social and economic challenges such as Britain’s housing shortage, the skills gap in key industries, social mobility and social disadvantage.

In 2016 we continued our support for communities by:

- Giving our four independent charitable Foundations £18.5m to tackle disadvantage.

- Completing more than 260,000 hours of colleague volunteering.  Skills-based volunteering, now accounts for 35% of the total time contributed by colleagues to support local organisations.

- Raising £6.1 million for our Charity of the Year, BBC Children in Need.

- Supporting credit unions across the country with our colleagues' expertise.

- Signing up 23,000 colleagues as Digital Champions to support people and organisations in their local communities – exceeding our original target to create 20,000 by 2017.