In memory of Olisa Odukwe, Young Goat launches its biggest charity campaign yet with Black Minds Matter UK

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By Allegra Letts, Features Digital Editor

Bristol alumni clothing brand, Young Goat, are aiming to raise £10k for Black Minds Matter UK. Their co-founder, Arthur Leventhorpe, spoke to Epigram about their biggest charity campaign to date.

Founded by University of Bristol alumni, the Young Goat clothing company believes that ‘anyone can be the GOAT’. That mentality has been embedded in the group of founders since they were just a few students playing on the football team, planting a seed to start up a brand that fosters a sense of community, acceptance, and inclusion. It’s the same sentiment that Arthur Leventhorpe, Head of Ops and Co-Founder of the brand, reiterated when he told Epigram about their biggest charity campaign yet with Black Minds Matter UK.

Young Goat's Purple Heart Tee in memory of Olisa Odukwe. Source: Young Goat | Epigram.

Black Minds Matter UK is a charity focused on providing individuals and families from the black community with free mental health resources and support, specifically by offering individual sessions run by black therapists. Through this, the charity is aiming to remove the negative stigma that surrounds mental illness within the community, and to make information around the subject more accessible and pertinent to black people in the UK. According to a report by the Race Equality Foundation, ‘the evidence suggests that black and minority ethnic communities are at high risk of mental ill health and disproportionately impacted by social detriments associated with mental illness.’ In this case, Young Goat’s campaign is not only providing funds to support these valuable sessions, but is also contributing its platform to a wider discussion about the stark racialisation of these issues.

"black and minority ethnic communities are at high risk of mental ill health and disproportionately impacted by social detriments associated with mental illness"

In terms of philanthropic efforts, this isn’t Young Goat’s first rodeo; they have worked with charities and organisations focused on mental health initiatives in the past, including leading mental health charities like Second Step and Off The Record. However, it’s certainly their biggest, producing a collection of unisex tees from which 100% of profits will be donated directly to the charity. Arthur told Epigram of ambitions and aims to raise £10,000 for the charity. At the time of our discussion, they were nearing £2000 having only launched days before. With the University of Bristol’s Student Union backing the campaign, it would be an achievement not only for the brand and charity, but also for the student community at Bristol as a whole.

"It would be an achievement not only for the brand and charity, but also for the student community at Bristol as a whole."

Further motivating the team at Young Goat’s desire to ensure the campaign’s success was the passing of their friend and colleague, Olisa Odukwe, who lost his own battle to mental health at just 20, while studying at Bristol. Arthur explained the personal motivation to honour the life of Olisa, with the addition of a purple heart on the sleeve of the t-shirt to commemorate Olisa’ s love for UK rapper Dave’s song, Purple Heart. For Young Goat, this campaign is personal. Certainly, it should be for students too. Mental illness is a harsh reality for many within the student community, but a reality we can all take steps to change by supporting campaigns and initiatives just like these at Young Goat.

Pictured: Olisa Odukwe. Source: Young Goat | Epigram

To show your support, you can purchase a Black Minds Matter UK x Young Goat T-Shirt online on the Young Goat website. All profits will be donated to Black Minds Matter UK. A pre-order system will be available when sizes sell out. To keep track of the campaign’s progress, Arthur has directed supporters to the @younggoat Instagram, where updates are made frequently, and links are available to make direct donations.

Featured Image: Epigram | Young Goat

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