BANJO’S Bakery Cafes have been encouraging their customers to have conversations about mental health for nearly 10 years. In this year’s collaboration with the Speak Up! Stay Chatty organisation, Banjo’s will encourage customers to donate 45 cents with any purchase this month.
The contribution was previously tied to the purchase of a large coffee, which did not suit every customer. Banjo’s New Norfolk owner Robbie Iles said the 45c donation was significant because 45% of Australians experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
“Until now our fundraising has been based around large coffee sales, resulting in direct interactions with around 60,000 customers throughout Tasmania,” Mr Iles said. Linking the 45c donation to any Banjo’s purchase rather than just coffee would expand the opportunity to spread the Speak Up! Stay Chatty message to more than 400,000 customers during May. “By having 45, a slightly odd number, the campaign has been designed as a conversation starter,” he said.
Speak Up! Stay Chatty founder Mitch McPherson said awareness was critical to the ongoing success of the suicide prevention charity. “It’s about creating conversations, and with the support of Banjo’s and other businesses like them the stigma surrounding suicide is decreasing and real conversations are happening,” Mr McPherson said.
“Our 2023 slogan ‘It makes cents to Stay Chatty’, holds deep meaning to me as I know the difference that a conversation could have,” he said. “This May, we are encouraging Tasmanians to Speak Up, reach out, and know the impact that kindness and compassion can have for someone experiencing a tough time.”
Started by Mr McPherson in 2013, Speak Up! Stay Chatty works to promote positive mental health and prevent suicide by normalising conversations about mental health and encouraging people to seek support when they need it.
Banjo’s chief executive Jessica Saxby said the company was delighted to be supporting the charity for the ninth successive year. “This year we are expanding our support, allowing customers to add a donation on all orders, not just from their coffee orders as in previous years,” Ms Saxby said.
Banjo’s New Norfolk is at 20 High St, open seven days until 6pm.
Main picture: Banjo’s New Norfolk staff members Megan Campbell, left, and Ebonie Jones.