Jami’s Transformational Dinner

Alastair Campbell

Jami held its annual dinner on Monday (30th October) at the Royal Horticultural Halls. Thanks to the generosity of over 300 guests at their biggest event ever, over £500,000 was raised which will enable Jami to continue to provide practical and emotional support for the mental health needs of the Jewish community. Since the agreement made with Jewish Care in April 2013, Jami have been responsible for continuing to develop and deliver mental  health services to the community, demonstrating the advantages of organisations  working together for greater benefit of the community.

-®-Photo-by-Yakir-Zur--8959The theme of the evening was ‘Transforming the Landscape’ of mental health. Chairman Doug Krikler welcomed guests, explaining “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.”

Fitting with the theme, the room was transformed to reflect the current Jami landscape with 4 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.

Alastair Campbell was the guest speaker for the evening who 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 and anyone in this as its about how we treat our work force when, as will happen, people get ill.”

-®-Photo-by-Yakir-Zur--2396Campbell 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. Its 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.”

-®-Photo-by-Yakir-Zur--9128Jami’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.”

View the photo gallery here.

Watch Jami’s new film here.