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NFU Mutual Thurso supports Caithness Mental Health Support Group to help local relief efforts

18th May 2020

Photograph of NFU Mutual Thurso supports Caithness Mental Health Support Group to help local relief efforts

NFU Mutual Thurso is proud to have nominated local charity Caithness Mental Health Support Group for a donation of over £3,000.

NFU Mutual Agents and their staff at the local Thurso agency are delighted to have nominated local charity Caithness Mental Health Support Group to receive a donation from the national £1m ‘Agency Giving Fund' launched by NFU Mutual's Head Office.

The charity has two drop-in centres, The Haven in Wick and Stepping Stones in Thurso, and provides support for local people who may be experiencing isolation, unemployment and other social difficulties related to mental health problems.

Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week and, with a survey of NFU Mutual customers showing that nearly three quarters of people are feeling more isolated since the UK went into lockdown, it's a crucial time for this support to be available.

*Linda Ross at NFU Mutual Thurso nominated the charity, which is close to her heart. She said: "The Coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on everybody, including our customers and their local communities. Many people are feeling more isolated, so it’s a crucial time for support to be available. Caithness Mental Health Support Group is making a wonderful difference to our community and we are proud to have been able to nominate this local charity to benefit from NFU Mutual’s national fund."

Chris Mackenzie, Group Manager for Caithness Mental Health Support Group, explained how this support will make a difference: "We are so grateful for this generous donation, we presently have to find an extra £18,000 to maintain our current service and we are always looking to refurbish our centres with badly needed seating or purchase items for our art and pottery studios."

"With our centres presently closed, we are contacting our service users by telephone, Facebook, skype etc and arrange deliveries of meals/groceries and prescriptions. It was with a very heavy heart that we had to close our centres, which thrive in social gathering and a sense of family and are usually open every day of the year. However, we are determined that when current COVID-19 restrictions are removed, we can reopen our centres safely, as we are expecting an increase in people attending regarding their mental health. Longer-term, we will also be able to use some of the money for a joint daytrip in the local area for our service users, some of whom do not have this opportunity. The ability to do this arises from NFU Mutual’s donation, as we will dedicate the funds to activities and events we could otherwise no longer afford. It will make a huge difference to us."

NFU Mutual Agent for Thurso, Jonathan Hogg, commented: “We were delighted when Linda suggested the CMHSG to be our nominated charity for the Thurso Agency. Mental Health is a crucial issue, particularly given the current situation, and to be able to support this cause with our donation will hopefully aid the great work the charity does.”

For more information about your local NFU Mutual Agent in Thurso visit:

*Join the Dots interviewed 772 adults aged 18+ online between the 16th-23rd April 2020. The data was weighted to be a nationally representative sample of Great Britain.

The research showed that 74% of customers feel more socially isolated that before the lockdown, with 45% feeling a ‘little more isolated’ and 29% feeling ‘much more isolated’. Men are significantly more likely to feel ‘much more isolated’ than women​(32% of men vs. 24% of women).

The predominant feeling amongst customers is that they are ‘coping’ with the situation (72%). Significantly more customers under 55 feel relaxed compared to those over 55 (40% to 26%).


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