Is your life fast-paced and busy? Are you constantly plugged into social media? Do you feel pressure to always appear happy and successful? Do you feel isolated and lonely? Have you experienced significant harm to your wellbeing?
Meet Megan, founder of #Me. Passionate about every day mental health and recognising the pressure of modern society, Megan launched #Me in December 2018 with the intention of providing practical support as well as encouraging open, honest conversations about our feelings and emotions.
"We aim to create safe, supportive environments for those on a similar journey in life. A place to connect with one another through face to face interaction. It's really important to us that everyone feels welcome, valued and respected."
#Me founder, Megan, explains what #Me is, why it started and how it works in this 2 minute highlight from their feature on the Local Heroes Podcast.
Megan started #Me in 2018 with the intention of providing accessible, cost-effective support to equip and empower people to improve wellbeing and build supportive communities. Megan graduated from Loughborough University with a BSc degree in International Business and diploma in international studies. She is a sports enthusiast who loves the social aspect as well as using it to outlet stress. Megan has experience in start-ups and the corporate business environment, mainly through her time as a Client Executive at Verizon Enterprise Solutions and at Vincent TV, filming a 40-part wildlife documentary. Having travelled and worked in 6 continents, Megan has gained an understanding of the eye-opening effects of poor mental health in a wide range of environments globally. As a recent graduate, Megan has first-hand experience of the challenges that arise when transitioning into higher education and the pressures students can be under. She has used this knowledge to focus on supporting students in particular. Megan has always had a heart for helping people and has received several awards in recognition of this passion.
Racheal grew up in a small town in the heart of England before going to the University of Aberystwyth in Wales to study economics. Racheal's passion for young people resulted in youth work and community outreach before she qualified as a teacher. She is super passionate about helping people, especially youth and wants to break down the stigma behind mental health. Racheal enjoys playing the piano and being by the seaside. She is kept on her toes on a daily basis by her husband, 2 kids and energetic dog.
As a keen problem solver, Charlie has developed a diverse experience in creating innovative solutions through his time at Enactus, working in SMEs and founding his own companies and projects. Recently graduating from Loughborough University, he has furthered his international experience through undertaking exchange programs in Denmark and China. He is also a competitive runner, often found spending his weekends on local trail, road and track races. Passionate about men's mental health, his volunteering experience with Nightline has shaped his keen ear for storytelling, user understanding and team working. Up for all things innovative, he finds true meaning in using business for good and creating positive environments that enable individuals to express themselves openly and honestly.
Originally from London, Beth relocated to Loughborough after completing a degree in Social Psychology. Bethany is passionate about helping people feel valued, empowered and free to live life to the full. Through her previous experience of being a student worker, she has been able to mentor students individually to facilitate personal growth and development. And as the current part time family worker for Loughborough Baptist Church she works closely with families and young children up to the age of 12 to support them and establish a sense of community. Whilst at University Beth enjoyed partaking in kickboxing, roller hockey and volunteering as a #Me facilitator. In her spare time she enjoys being creative through both music and art.
Business Development Committee
Dr Cathryn Appleton
Cathryn has worked as a GP for 25 years, gaining first-hand experience of how mental health impacts on our day to day lives. She is particularly passionate about mental health and wellbeing in young adults. Cathryn first became involved with #Me as a facilitator in one of the pilot groups. Being involved in a group in this way enabled her to quickly to see the benefit of the service. She was very encouraged to see members of the group have the opportunity to share difficulties they were facing and gain mutual support and understanding within their group. She has a good knowledge of the services available to promote mental health and wellbeing and how limited their availability and effectiveness might be. Statistics show that 1 in 4 of us suffer from a mental health disorder each year. She is excited to play a part in reducing this burden by the expansion of this fantastic and evolving initiative.
Mr Gary Pedler
In 2012, Gary started his own business - Bowden Consulting Engineers Ltd. This is a structural engineering consultancy based in Market Harborough, working with Architects and Builders in the domestic sector. Gary first met Megan and her family after moving to Market Harborough in 2005. They worked together for two months when Megan undertook market research for Bowden Consulting Engineers. In Gary's words 'It has been a pleasure to watch Megan develop and mature into the confident, professional, young person she is today.' Part of Gary’s original vision for his business was to have a community aspect, and the opportunity for this arose when #Me evolved. From a personal point of view, #Me has greatly helped Gary's understanding of mental health issues, whilst his business experience and advice is able to feed back into the development and success of #Me.
Dr Sarah Cromie
Sarah completed her PhD in Chemistry and went on to work in local government and then the NGO sector before returning to academic life at Loughborough University. Born and brought up in Northern Ireland, she is an avid supporter of the Irish rugby team. Sarah is currently a Senior Lecturer at Loughborough University’s School of Business and Economics. She is the Co-Director of Undergraduate Programmes and has responsibility for over 2000 students within the School. She is passionate about seeing students thrive and grow into strong individuals who make a positive impact on society. Her areas of interest are in ethics and leadership development hence her support and enthusiasm of #Me which she believes can be a tool to help anyone identify blockages and put a plan in place to overcome them.
Mr Ross Dunning
Ross has worked in the construction industry and is currently within Hospitality. His roles have varied from cost consultancy, strategic management, non-executive board member, church leader, Manager, to now being a Director. Ross's current work in the Hospitality sector involves constantly striving to go from Good to Great in their pursuit of excellence for their customers and colleagues. Ross' passion for #Me stems from knowing first-hand what handling and dealing with mental health issues is like. This extends beyond personal experience to that of those he really cares for. Ross's faith is a huge part of his life and something which has helped him through good and bad times. Ross' vision for #Me is to see as many folk as possible turn their story of one of anxiety, fear, loneliness or depression into peace, joy, contentment and happiness.