CAMPAIGNERS are battling to raise £200,000 to complete a pioneering project giving crucial help to people with mental health difficulties.

South East and Central Essex Mind launched its Become a Mind Star campaign at the Victoria shopping centre, Southend.

The campaign aims to raise £200,000 to help complete Southend Mind’s Jubilee Centre in Southchurch Road. About £45,000 has been raised so far.

Building work stopped at the centre in June last year when cash ran out, but it still proved to be a valuable resource in its unfinished state.

More than 350 people have received mental health advice through the centre in the past year and the charity is keen to reach its target and complete the project. People who help the charity, by volunteering or fundraising, will be designated a “Mind star”, with information about their actions showcased on Southend Mind’s Facebook page.

Pippa Foster, events and community fundraiser for Southend Mind, said: “The centre is a unique resource which will act as a ‘single point of entry’ for anyone looking for assistance with mental illness, not just services we provide, but from a range of local partners with whom we work.

“Although one in four people will experience mental illness during their lifetime, we all know someone in our families, a friend or someone we work with, whose life has been affected by mental illness.

“The Become A Mind Star campaign is an opportunity for people to show awareness of mental health and through your donations, help provide highquality services which can be delivered at a time, and inamanner, which will meet the needs of the individual.”

A total of £250 was collected at the campaign launch, which will go towards the total.

For more information on the campaign, visit Facebook and search for South East and Central Essex Mind.