Back in January this year I was feeling lethargic, a little worn down from the time and effort put into leading and growing Mr. Perfect, all on a tiny fraction of funds that came the way of one-off donations or proceeds from a handful of events and the priceless volunteers that help us.
Furthermore without DGR status (by our own choosing) this made our future a little delicate. I had reached out to a small number of potential sponsors or partners and completed cumbersome grant and tender applications to no avail.
At our January Board Meeting I sheepishly mentioned I was ready to see if someone else wanted to take the reigns and get Mr. Perfect to the next level to reach and support more men.
Then a simple phone call and email just a week or so later changed our fate. It was from Maria Falas, Head of Mental Health and Wellness at OnePath Life and simply said she would love to find out more about what we doing at a community and social level for good mental health. For those unaware, OnePath is one of Australia’s leading providers of life insurance and investment solutions.
A week later I met Maria, and not knowing what to expect and not being 100% prepared, we just talked. About our backgrounds, professional and personal, families, how mental health had affected those close to us and I told my brief story and where Mr. Perfect was at.
Maria explained that the industry she loved and worked in needed to sharpen its focus on mental health. She told of the growing number of claims they received relating to mental health issues, and worse, life insurance claims when a partner had died from suicide.
90 minutes later I left with that feeling you get (rarely these days) when you meet someone open, warm and engaging. It also helped Maria was a very good listener.
My energy revitalised, I wrote down two simple(ish) goals we needed to achieve to ensure we expanded:
- Secure the right funding & partner for 2019
- Ensure our current Meetup BBQs are running smoothly with impact (Troy Mullins, Mr. P Meetup Coordinator, hats off to you for single-handedly making this happen)
Fast forward a few months and I was invited to submit a plan of how some support from OnePath could help our cause and ensure we survive, and thrive, into 2019 and beyond, adding more Meetup BBQs to support more men, their families and communities, and their mental health.
Next came an invitation to speak at an OnePath employee event and after a fairly seamless and surprisingly un-taxing process, the final agreement was signed by both parties early this week.
The result? OnePath are the exclusive corporate sponsor of Mr. Perfect and we will work closely with them over the next year as we grow our footprint in NSW, VIC and QLD predominantly and OnePath get to see their proactive approach for mental health at a social level in action.
This is certainly not the end of the road for us, those two clear goals I scribbled earlier have now been hit and the internal team at Mr. Perfect are tackling the next one - expanding at a manageable rate in a purely volunteer organisation to support more men, their families and their mental health.
With our intention always that our community feels safe, supported, worthy and listened to.
To get to one of our Meetup BBQs near you click here.
Founder | CEO | Chair
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