Wagamama partners with Shout on mental health mission

A Pan-Asian restaurant chain has announced its new charity partnership, pledging to donate funding to help alleviate the UK's mental health crisis. 

Wagamama has been investing in charities for years, but has today (27 March) launched its new collaboration with Shout – the UK's first and only free 24/7 text messaging support service for people experiencing mental health troubles. 

The Restaurant Group-owned brand has made an initial donation of £40,000, which is equivalent to 4,000 text conversations facilitated by Shout volunteers. On top of this, Wagamama has made an internal pledge to contribute 50,000 hours of volunteering to support Shout's vital work, encouraging participation across the business.

The group has also committed to supporting Shout's goal to recruit and train 1,000 volunteers in 2024. 

Providing a safe space

Wagamama will guide guests through key life transitions by hosting events across the country to provide support and a safe space on its benches. Offering expert advice alongside soul-nourishing food, the events will focus on important topics such as becoming a parent, coming out, starting life at university and loneliness. 

Victoria Hornby PBE, CEO of the Mental Health Innovations charity, which runs the Shout service, says of the partnership: "We are absolutely delighted to be launching this exciting partnership with Wagamama. Their support will be invaluable in enabling us to recruit and train volunteers needed to help the hundreds of children, young people and adults who reach out for Shout's free, 24/7 mental health support, every single day. This vital partnership will make a significant difference to the lives of thousands of people who need 'in the moment' support and who often have nowhere else to turn. 

Thomas Heier, CEO of Wagamama, adds: "We are thrilled to partner with Shout as we aim to make a positive impact on mental health support across the UK. By joining forces with Shout, we look to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those facing mental health challenges. We hope that with our donation, volunteer recruitment efforts and internal pledge of support, we will positively contribute to the amazing work that Shout already do."

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