George Ezra and Sony Music UK CEO/chairman and BRITs chairman Jason Iley have backed a mental health campaign for young people unveiled at the BRIT School.
Ezra and his record company boss attended the event in Croydon today (June 19) to present the cheque for £250,000 raised at the BRIT Awards with Mastercard. The money will be shared between mental health charity Mind, Music Support and the BRIT School For Performing Arts and Technology.
Speaking at the event, Iley said that during his career he had spoken to “numerous executives” who had reported mental health concerns.
“It was something that was kept quiet for such a long time,” he said.
Iley added: “I am delighted that we can use the BRIT Awards platform to publicly support and fundraise for mental wellbeing. The difference that these charities make towards people lives is immeasurable and addressing this subject within schools is vital to a progressive and optimistic future.”
Ezra has previously spoken about mental health wellbeing and he performed a fundraising gig for Mind in 2017.
Ezra said: “I think it’s brilliant that Mind are working with secondary schools to help raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing. Your school years are such an important time and having an understanding of mental health and knowing what support is available can make a real difference. I’m really pleased that the BRIT Awards have chosen Mind to roll out this important project reaching thousands of people.”
The event was hosted by The BRIT School’s principal, Stuart Worden, who was joined by Mind CEO Paul Farmer and Matt Thomas from Music Support. Worden described the backing of the music industry as an “extraordinary thing”.
The bulk of the money will go to mental health charity Mind as part of a new partnership with the BRITs to support the pilot of their Whole School Approach to mental health. The pilot will launch this September and include the BRIT School, which also received an additional £25,000 to support dedicated mental health wellbeing and special needs work.
A further £25,000 will go to Music Support, the music industry addictions and mental health charity established by industry veterans Matt Thomas and Andy Franks.
Previous recipients of funds raised through the BRIT Awards include Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy and War Child.
The BRIT Awards announced in March this year that its activities in 2017 had generated over £1 million for its BRIT Trust charitable arm. Since its foundation in 1989, it has distributed over £20 million to charities that promote education and wellbeing through music.