The Mayor of Lincoln Jackie Kirk has relaunched a local charity dating back to the 1500s to help raise the profile mental health.
During the Queen’s Silver Jubilee year in 1977, historic charities from Lincoln’s suburb of Wigford dating back to 1506, were reconstituted as the ‘St Mary le Wigford with St Benedict and St Mark – Relief in Need Charity’.
The charity traditionally played a role in supporting the homeless against modern slavery, and now in 2022, the year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the charity is updating itself again to meet the needs of the city of Lincoln.
It has now been renamed as ‘The Historic Charities of Wigford – JAQS Trust – Relief in Need’, and will look to meet an urgent need for mental health support, identified by Mayor Jackie Kirk, who is a trustee of the charity, and church warden of Lincoln’s oldest church, St Mary le Wigford.
The Mayor said: “I have seen the impact on the health and especially mental health, that the pandemic and economic stresses that we are currently living through have placed on people in Lincoln.
“Seeing no end in sight, my aim and ambition for the last 24 months has been to get something set in place to support those in urgent need.”
Between now and the end of her mayoral term in office on May 17, Jackie will be concentrating on fundraising, setting up fundraiser events and submitting funding bids.
She added: “The sheer volume of need, whether physical health, mental health, educational support and additional training requirements, debt, and poverty that have bubbled up over the last 24 months is mammoth.
“It is only by this sort of periodic refocussing on the needs of the day that historic charities like this can remain valuable and the work involved has been a mammoth undertaking, but an essential one.”
JAQS Trust will aim to generate vital funds needed to provide the financial support to pay for talking therapies – one-to-one, group sessions, psychology, CBT, and counselling.
It hopes to lift the barriers and “enable a smoother, swifter access for individuals of all ages and backgrounds that find themselves needing urgent mental health therapy, support and care”.
Anyone wishing to donate to the charity can use the official JAQS Trust funding portal here, which pays directly into the JAQS Trust bank account.
St Mary le Wigford has a history of serving the city for more than 1,000 years and in the past decade this was most visible in the BeAttitude Homeless Project.