Connecting research and real life.

Building a world where mental health support systems & resources are accessible to, & informed by, those who use them.

WELCOME TO THE AMPERSAND PROJECT

The Ampersand Project is a new social enterprise that aims to improve the mental wellbeing of young adults. We do this by connecting research & real life.

As the new CEO at The Ampersand Project I wanted to take a moment to explain the reasons for our rebrand, the meaning behind our new name & why we’re so excited to launch the next phase of our project (& why you should be too)! Our new name was actually pretty much the last decision we made, so I’m going to tell you a bit more about how we got there…

OUR MISSION

We want to provide a space & community where young adults can connect with others who have experiences they can identify with – through content that promotes self care & positive interventions, even in times of adversity, & delivers an actionable message to those who may need it.

But we also endeavour to make a lasting impact in society – be it public, corporate, educational, or governmental spaces – by using research to connect institutions to the people they serve & to create a platform for young people to influence long term systemic change.

We have been awarded funding from the Social Innovation Fund. This is a partnership with The University of Edinburgh to develop, test & roll out new ideas that will address social problems in Scotland.

Why the Ampersand Project?

To put it simply, we felt that Fearlessly didn’t really represent who we are, & what we hope to be. 

It didn’t evoke the feelings we want to convey. 

We wanted our name to represent our values & our activities, it needed to be versatile enough to encompass all aspects of our work, to act as a unifier across our community. That’s no small task. 

At its heart, the organisation is about communication & connection – so what better than the (almost) universal linguistic symbol for connecting.

@TheAmpersandPro

info@theampersandproject.com

THE REBRANDING PROCESS

A year after launching, we paused to reflect on what we wanted to achieve & evaluate what we could do to improve the content & services we offer. 

We’ve always been more than just a magazine, & our ultimate purpose remains the same – to improve the mental health of young adults. But we needed to clarify what role we play in achieving our vision – a world where mental health support systems & resources are accessible to, & informed by, those who use them – to ensure that everything we are doing contributes to achieving this. 

First, we looked at our community. You are diverse – young people of all backgrounds, genders, races & sexualities. You are creatives, students, governments, educational institutions & other third sector organisations. We wanted to ensure that our activities & our brand represent, & serve, all of these groups. 

That’s when we realised that our role is to connect disparate groups & spaces who are working on, or experiencing similar things; to leverage our platform in order to affect change & help real voices be heard by those working on mental health policies & research; to combine research & academic knowledge with day-to-day experiences from our community. To connect research & real life. 

It was also important to examine how we wanted people to feel when they engaged with us & define the qualities we want to represent – calm, understanding, light, open, mindful, kind, optimistic, genuine, honest, reassuring, inclusive, creative, relatable. And ‘fearless’ didn’t feel like the right word…

WHY DID WE GO QUIET FOR SO LONG?

Restructuring & rebranding is hard. You have to find the one single thing which makes the organisation unique, clarify your mission & then find a name which represents this. We wanted to build an organisation which we believe will better serve all of our community in the long term. As a small team this meant devoting all our energy to this process in the short term, we simply didn’t have the capacity to continue engaging in a meaningful way at the same time.  However, we didn’t expect it to take quite as long as it did, so a huge thank you for sticking with us.

The Ampersand Project

Is funded by

WHAT NEXT?

We will continue to publish content that destigmatises the conversation around mental & emotional wellbeing. Our volunteer creatives will continue to be key in steering the issues we highlight. And our social media will continue to be interactive & informative. Those things won’t change.

There are more exciting updates to follow about how we’re developing each area of our work. These will include telling you about our research plans & launching the first issue of our new look magazine, Ampersand. In the background we will continue to build our shiny new website. Our team will also be working hard to get on top of correspondence & submissions.

We are really excited about the next chapter of our story. We hope that you, The Ampersand Community, will share what we are doing with your network & join us on social media.

Cordelia & The Ampersand Team

The Ampersand Project is an initiative of Fearlessly C.I.C. (#SC566298, limited by guarantee). Registered Office: 46A Constitution Street, Edinburgh, EH6 6RS.
Icons made by Pause8. Music by Bensound.

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