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Supporting Mental Health with bigmoose - Guest Post

Trigger Warning, this article contains discussions of mental health and suicide which may be harmful to some.

1109 referrals, 39 lives saved from suicide. That is huge. 

bigmoose have already helped over 1000 people at crisis point to access free counselling, bypassing long waiting lists and lengthy sign-up criteria, directly saving at least 39 people from suicide. 

bigmoose jeff and chloe

bigmoose began in 2014, with the charity’s ‘why’ rooted in is keeping the legacy of Gary ‘Moose’ Cloonan alive. The charity is run by father and daughter duo Jeff and Chloe Smith and began with a three-point plan: helping those struggling with their mental health, preventing suicide, and preventing homelessness.

Jeff is a former Cardiff Devils ice hockey goalkeeper and first met Moose at the Streatham Redskins Ice Hockey Club in South London, having joined when he was 18. The two became close friends with Jeff acting as Gary's best man at his wedding. Tragically, Gary was diagnosed with cancer which spread to his liver, and he passed away in 2007. Jeff vowed to get the most out of his time on this planet and to honour Gary’s memory through his work.

Between them, Jeff and Chloe have amassed a range of impressive achievements. Jeff has summitted Everest and completed the Marathon de Sables, whilst Chloe was the youngest Welsh woman to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro at the age of 15 and had run a 42-mile ultramarathon by the time she was 22. 

Also opened in 2014 is the bigmoose coffee shop, found on Frederick Street in Cardiff's city centre. A popular brunch stop, the cafe serves pancakes, bagels, cakes, coffee and more, and is well worth a visit. The not-for-profit cafe helps to raise vital funds to pay therapist so that all their work is free for the client at the point of need. bigmoose is different for several reasons, it is fast, it is bespoke, the therapy style is solution focused and fast paced, and they don't have tick boxes/criteria, if people feel they need help, they provide it.

Among their proudest achievements, Chloe and Jeff were selected as Point of Light by the UK government, a recognition of their exceptional contributions to society. They had the honour of sharing their mission at 10 Downing Street and were also chosen by the BBC’s One Show for the One Big Thank You, shining a spotlight on their inspiring work. They also recently won Wales Purpose Entrepreneur of The Year 2023.

Their approach works, I believe in their mission, and I want to help to raise awareness and funds for their cause. That’s why on Sunday 21st April I’ll be running 26.2 miles at the TCS London marathon, as part of a year long fundraising effort for bigmoose.

mdss fundraising

I’m also working with Chris, Stuart, and the team at The Maltings Document Storage Solutions Group to raise awareness of bigmoose as a charity, the support they can offer, and to continue the conversations around mental health that are already happening within their business. I’d love to speak to more companies and teams about this, so if you’re reading this and are interested in this, please let me know!

Across 2024 I've committed to raising £15,000 for bigmoose as part of Project15. £15,000 is a lot of money and a big target, but £15k would put 37 people through a full course of therapy with bigmoose. Through their work, data shows that 1 in every 27 therapy graduates would have taken their own life, so £15,000 would save at least one life, and that’s a big motivator!

If you’re able to contribute in any way, either by donating, or by sharing the amazing bigmoose story and work of bigmoose, I’d be really grateful. Or if you need support yourself, bigmoose would love to help, and you can contact them directly here.

By Will Fuller

Cardiff Met

Chief Executive / Prif Weithredwr

Tel/Ffôn: 029 2041 6190

My pronouns are: He/Him 


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