When Mills met Bill: Radio 1’s Scott Mills champions Lincolnshire charity DJ for providing a radio lifeline during lockdown
The Radio 1 DJ is supporting the Charity Champs campaign by the National Emergencies Trust to acknowledge the ongoing efforts of local charities
Radio 1 DJ, Scott Mills, has met with a Gainsborough-based mental health charity to hear about its creative response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Stepping Stone Theatre For Mental Health launched an online radio show last year and has aired more than 180 shows to support its members during lockdown.
The video chat between Scott and Bill Rodgers, co-founder of Stepping Stone Theatre For Mental Health, was captured as part of a nationwide ‘Charity Champs’ campaign launched by the National Emergencies Trust (NET) this week. Backed by a number of celebrities, the campaign acknowledges the incredible contribution charities continue to make in their communities responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bill Rodgers, who co-founded Stepping Stone Theatre with his wife, Kate, who has bi-polar, explains how the charity set up an online livestream/radio show as a way to keep supporting its community through lockdowns. He shares that he “panicked at first, as he didn’t have a clue” but has since delivered more than 180 ‘Live Talk’ shows, reaching thousands of people since launch, covering issues from self-harm to suicide-awareness.
Talking about his hopes for the project, Bill says: “If we can save one life. If we can get one person talking to their pal about mental health. If we can get one man, especially, saying ‘I don’t feel so good at the moment’ – then job done.”
Scott Mills, who presents a weekday afternoon show on Radio 1, points to how radio has created a vital sense of connection in recent months and expresses his admiration for Stepping Stone’s efforts: “At a time when no-one could see each other, radio was an absolute lifeline. More than we would have ever thought before all this. What you are doing at the moment, and have been doing through all this, is a real inspiration.”
Stepping Stone Theatre For Mental Health is one of more than 13,000 projects funded by the National Emergencies Trust’s Coronavirus Appeal since its launch in March 2020 and one of more than 225 local charities to receive a grant from the Appeal through the Lincolnshire Community Foundation. To-date the National Emergencies Trust’s appeal has raised £97million and nearly £94million of this has reached communities.
Like Stepping Stone, 25% of charities have used funding from the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal to meet the growing demand for mental health and wellbeing support.
The NET Charity Champs campaign is being backed by celebrities from across the UK who are sharing videos and messages of support for charities’ efforts on social media using the hashtag #NETCharityChamps. A special compilation video to launch the campaign also features Bill Rodgers from Stepping Stone, as well as Sharon Osborne, Alesha Dixon, Keith Lemon, Miranda Hart, Pixie Lott and others who have all supported the National Emergencies Trust over the last year.
Mhairi Sharp, CEO of the National Emergencies Trust, said: “For nearly a year now people in charities all around the UK have put others’ needs before their own to help those hard-hit by the pandemic. The creativity and compassion they’ve shown in the face of such difficult times is truly inspirational. We wanted to take a moment to acknowledge and thank charity champs like Stepping Stone Theatre For Mental Health, and we’re so pleased that Scott and others have been keen to join us.’
To watch the “When Bills Met Bill” video visit:
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