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Highland businessman raises £40,000 for mental health charity Mikeysline

By Neil MacPhail

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Dicksons's boss Fraser Bryce and Emily Stokes, CEO of Mikeysline.
Dicksons's boss Fraser Bryce and Emily Stokes, CEO of Mikeysline.

A businessman asked his contacts to dig deep and as a result managed to raise £40,000 for a prominent suicide charity in Inverness.

Fraser Bryce, managing director of Dicksons of Inverness, marked a Pledge Day in his diary – and called business contacts past and present in a bid to raise money for Mikeysline.

And the resultant pledges – about £40,000 – mean that the charity can reach more people across the Highlands and extend its range of vital services.

Dicksons already gives the charity a complimentary car, enabling its staff to see more people in many rural settings.

Mr Bryce said: “It is such an important charity, with the issue of mental health prevalent in every workplace, every walk of life, that any money raised will impact someone in need.

“Dicksons is a community company and this vital charity is an integral part of our community.”

Mikeysline was founded in 2015, following the tragic deaths of friends Martin Shaw and Michael Williamson within 48 hours of each other.

It was created by Michael’s uncle Ron Williamson, in his nephew’s memory so that young people who were struggling with mental health issues and/or thoughts of suicide had a place to go. Its CEO Emily Stokes said: “We are really grateful for all the support that Dicksons gives us. We are a small charity and receive no core funding, so when we receive amounts like this it gives us the opportunity to make a significant impact. It is great to have a partnership with them.

“We are doing a number of new projects, including working more with families and going into more schools, and this can really aid us with early intervention work.

“Different children have different emotions, but being open and having conversations at an early stage can really help and make them aware there is support out there.

“It is vital to raise awareness of mental health – in schools and outwith school – and we can offer support online or face to face as well as our text-based support options.”

The suicide rate in the Highlands has been notoriously high for some time and remains above the Scottish national average.

Dicksons, which has been based in Inverness since 1992, employs about 70 staff at its Telford Retail Park base.

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