Jewish community mental health service Jami held its annual dinner on Monday 30th October at the Royal Horticultural Halls, raising over £500,000 to help develop and deliver mental health services to the community.
The theme of the evening was ‘Transforming the Landscape’ of mental health.
Fitting with the theme, the room was transformed to reflect the current Jami landscape with four stages set up in the corners of the room, all dressed as different Jami hubs; The Head Room Café, Jami’s pop up wellbeing garden, their clothes boutique (found in Head Room Café) and Jami’s warehouse.
Chairman Doug Krikler welcomed guests, saying: “Put simply, the community’s mental well-being is not just Jami’s business, but the business of the whole community. And that’s what we mean when we talk about Transforming the Landscape. Ensuring that, ultimately, everywhere in our community becomes a safe and supportive space; informed, prepared and appropriately resourced.”
Guest speaker for the evening Alastair Campbell spoke of his own experience with having a mental illness. He said: “I was really lucky with employers. Now lots of you are employers. You have as big a responsibility as anyone in this, as it’s about how we treat our workforce when, as will happen, people get ill.”
Campbell added: “When people tell me I’ve achieved stuff despite having a mental health problem, despite psychosis, despite depression, despite addiction, I say I think any success I had is because of it. Because of what I’ve learned from it. It’s taught me resilience.”
During the evening, Jami demonstrated how they are Transforming the Landscape of mental health by reducing stigma, building resilience and helping create better health outcomes. Head Room, Jami’s café in Golders Green, is a key example of this: an innovative social enterprise combining a coffee shop, vintage boutique and mental health access point, which places mental health firmly in the heart of the Jewish community, challenging stereotypes and offering a truly impressive and sustainable fuelling-stop for both the body and mind.
Jami’s CEO, Laurie Rackind addressed the room and spoke of mental health being the most crucial healthcare issue of our generation. He said: “Despite the commitment of all political parties to Parity of Esteem and the recognition that far more needs to be invested in Mental Health services, almost no statutory funding reaches the coal face. Even when it does, the funding rarely covers the cost of providing the service. Consequently, we are totally reliant on you, the community, for 98 % of our annual income of around £2.5m.”
Jami’s new fundraising film, which tells the stories of Phillipa, Ashley and Jess, three of Jami’s services users was shown. The appeal was given by Jess, 30, who experienced extreme anxiety which affected all aspects of her life. Jess told guests: “Jami has really transformed me and set me on my way to a fulfilling life. Together with Jami and my family, I have managed to change my vision, my ambition and my whole life style. Some days, just getting dressed seemed like an achievement. Now, not only am I getting dressed, I’m going to work and loving my work.”
The ceremony was hosted in the Royal Horticultural Halls’ Lindley Hall. Situated in central London, the Royal Horticultural Halls was opened in 1904 by HM King Edward VII and HM Queen Alexandra. Once host to botanic art exhibitions held by the Royal Horticultural Society, the versatile Lindley Hall and Lawrence Hall now play host to prestigious contemporary events, from fashion shows to weddings, art exhibitions, car auctions, big-brand conferences and major entertainment artistes.
Royal Horticultural Halls Venue Sales Manager Lorraine Thorne said: “It was wonderful to welcome Jami and even better to hear about the £500,000 raised by the 300 guests. We worked closely with Jami to use the blank canvas backdrop of the prestigious Lindley Hall to deliver the Transforming the Landscape theme of the event, which really help push home the message in a very creative way.”
Jami Event Planner Muriel Stempel said: “Thank you so much for last week, it was a real pleasure working with you and all your colleagues. You were so professional and eager to please which made our job that much easier and ensured smooth running of the event.”