Deciding to fundraise for Jigsaw

April 04th 2018

As a current student at the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, my team and I were given the opportunity to work with a charity of our choice, and we were very keen to work with Jigsaw as our chosen charity. A few years back as a secondary school student, I took part in the O2 ‘Think Big’ Mental Health Project for two years running. This project really introduced me into the non-profit sector, as the O2 charity partnership at the time was ‘Headstrong’, which was the earlier name for the charity we now know as ‘Jigsaw’. I thought working with Jigsaw again would be a great opportunity to re-connect with the projects I did previously, and raise money for a cause that my team and I were very passionate about.

As our team consists of four young students, we are actively aware of the pressures of social media on young people today and the effect that this can have on mental health. Social Media can be an amazing tool, but also a very dangerous one, leading young people to view themselves in a negative way. With this in mind, we wanted to be able to raise awareness of Jigsaw’s services and the credible work they do in early detection of mental health issues in young people across Ireland. We wanted to encourage any students who were concerned for their own mental health to know that Jigsaw’s services are available to them.

Myself and the team are Project Management students, and therefore, we aim to use our knowledge and tools of Project Management in our work with Jigsaw. Therefore, we put our ‘University Caps’ on got to work! We carried out extensive research into the complexity of the project, and agreed that keeping our project simple will be most effective for helping to raise awareness of Jigsaw’s services. We explored all the key stakeholders of our project, so that we understood the necessary channels required to complete the project. We also conducted a Risk Assessment so that we could plan for any unforeseen issues that may arise, and allow us to deal with any outside forces that may affect our project. These are just some of the business tools that we use in our day-to-day work, which we aim to apply to our work with Jigsaw.

For the project itself, we wanted to host an event for the students at our Business School. We wanted our event to be the perfect way for the students to come together, have an evening with their friends and meet new students. Therefore, we decided on a Pizza Party! On April 5th, the Urban Picnic Restaurant at UCD Smurfit Business School will host students for an evening of Pizza, Music and some chitchat! Our aim is to have young people together in a fun, stress-free environment, away from the library and the books for an evening. As April is a busy month for Smurfit Students, we want the student body to take a break for the evening and have some time off with their classmates. All funds raised on the night will go directly to Jigsaw.

About two weeks ago we also launched an exciting raffle that we will be conducting at the event in April. We were thrilled to receive a donated Irish Rugby Jersey from Dan Leavy, who very kindly donated his ‘Number 7’ Jersey from the Ireland and Wales game from February 24th. The Jersey is also signed by all of his team members. We believe that sport and fitness are hugely beneficial to mental health, and we were delighted to be able to have this Jersey in our raffle and as part of our overall promotion for a healthy mind. Other prizes include a signed Connaught Rugby Jersey, a Voucher for Tropical Popical, Flying Lessons with Simtech and a Voucher for Cornucopia Restaurant. We were delighted to have such kind sponsors who understood the tremendous work that Jigsaw do and supported us in our fundraiser.

We are thrilled with the response we have received so far to our project, and we hope this continues to grow over the coming weeks. Two of our team members are international students, who had no idea about Jigsaw before coming to Ireland. It has been amazing to see them engrossed in the work of Jigsaw, and understanding the conversation surrounding mental health here in Ireland. We hope our project will gain even more momentum in the coming weeks, and we will be sure to update you all with another blog post soon!

Caroline Nicholson.