by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

Maxol’s annual Christmas Coffee Cup campaign is underway at selected service stations across Northern Ireland. Between now and the end of December, for every Barista Bar coffee or tea bought at participating service stations, Maxol will donate 10p to AWARE, the local charity which supports people living with depression.


In a campaign first, this year Maxol, will be sharing some simple suggestions across their social channels on how to start a conversation about mental health with friends, family, or colleagues. A series of informative clips will be published over the next few weeks and will feature AWARE staff giving advice on questions to ask someone about how their feeling and ways to reach out to them.

Brian Donaldson, Chief Executive Officer, The Maxol Group said: “This year AWARE has marked 25 years of supporting people living with depression.

“Supporting good mental health is hugely important but, we also recognise it can be difficult to start a conversation about mental health, especially when it is someone close to you. With help from AWARE we have created simple suggestions on how to get the conversation started. You can see the content on our social channels and in store too.

“So, if you are out and about in the coming weeks pop into a participating Maxol service station, buy a hot drink and you’ll be helping to make a positive difference to many people’s lives.”

Clare Galbraith, Head of Fundraising for AWARE said: “Since 1996, AWARE has been offering support and education to thousands of people living with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder in Northern Ireland. In AWARE’s 25th year, the Maxol Christmas Coffee Cup Campaign is more important than ever. With the ongoing impact of the pandemic, we have experienced a 40% increase in demand for our support services both in person and via Zoom between 2019 and 2021.

“During this same period, the number of people the charity has reached via social media has risen by 185%, whilst traffic to its website has increased by almost a quarter. The charity is currently expanding services to meet this increase in demand and will benefit hugely from the funds raised.”

Paulo Ross, Cool FM Breakfast Show presenter and AWARE Ambassador said: “I am delighted to be part of this year’s campaign. As an AWARE Ambassador I know the work they do, the support they provide and the compassion they show to service users and their families. I’m also delighted to see those conversation starters at the heart of this year’s activity which I’m sure will help many people finding it difficult to take the first step in talking about mental health.”

Annette Kelly, Little Penny Thoughts, a passionate mental health advocate uses her own experiences to guide others in their path to a positive and happy life said: “I am delighted to support the annual Maxol Christmas coffee cup campaign. It’s a campaign that resonates deeply with us given our own focus on nurturing mental wellbeing, especially in the run up to the festive season. The funds raised will benefit so many in the coming year so I would encourage people to buy a coffee and help make a difference.”

The money raised by the campaign will go towards AWARE providing support, education, and information for people impacted by depression, bipolar disorder and mood related conditions which have been severely impacted by Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.

AWARE has been operating for 25 years and has a network of 24 support groups across the country, as well as delivering mental health and wellbeing programmes into communities, schools, colleges, universities and workplaces.

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Paulo Ross, Annette Kelly and Clare Galbraith

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