A VITAL charity has launched an urgent appeal after the "toughest year they have ever had" for fundraising.

Carlisle Eden Mind is launching an appeal for supporters to donate much-needed funds as it deals with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

For the first time the charity has partnered with The Big Give, a national organisation which helps to match-fund every pound donated – doubling up every contribution made.

Michael Boaden, adults service manager for the charity, said: “All charities have suffered this year. We have seen a downturn in our usual fundraising activity, and other income streams from our shops and training programme have been significantly affected.

“At the same time we are seeing greater demand for our services, which have kept going throughout the pandemic; and in order to meet that need we are looking to raise much-needed funds.

“Mindline Cumbria, which we run on behalf of all the local Minds in the county, continues to operate seven days per week every day of the year, offering support, information and a listening ear for those who might be struggling with mental health issues.

“However, it costs a significant amount to run – and that is where the Christmas Challenge comes in.

“For every pound donated, The Big Give will help us to match-fund so that every person who donates will see their contribution double at no extra cost to themselves. One donation, twice the impact.

“We know everybody is finding it tough at the moment but we hope this new way of boosting funds will encourage people to get involved."

The Christmas Challenge is open for donations until noon on Tuesday. To donate visit www.cemind.org.

Mindline Cumbria operates Monday-Friday 12pm-11pm and weekends 5pm-11pm. Call 0300 561 0000.