Beder, set up by founder Razzak Mirjan and his family in 2018, in the memory of his younger brother - Beder, builds communities of like-minded people and encourages social connection through unique events and initiatives.
LS: Please introduce yourself and the essential work you do in raising awareness about mental health.
RM: My name is Razzak Mirjan and I am the founder of Beder. Beder is a charity taking a unique approach to softly raising awareness around mental health and suicide prevention through a range of exciting events and initiatives.
Beder was founded, as a family, following the loss of my younger brother, Beder Mirjan, who sadly took his own life at the age of 18 in April 2017.
Beder is more than a family charity though. It is a platform for us all to play our part in normalising the conversation around these important societal issues, show it is ok not to be ok and highlight the importance of self-care in looking after your mental health.
You don't have to have suffered with your mental health, experienced loss through suicide or felt suicidal to be a part of the Beder's events and initiatives as we look to build a community of like-minded people who share similar interests and it is through these interests that we can overcome the fear and stigma surrounding these issues as we are all stronger together, rather than alone.
LS: Lucky Saint is donating to Beder on behalf of our customers in May. How will the money help further your cause?
RM: Beder is a young charity, so any donations truly have a really big impact and allow us to do even more work to softly raise awareness around mental health and suicide prevention, so we are incredibly grateful for Lucky Saint's and its customers' support at the start of this exciting partnership.
We have some really unique projects and first of its kind initiatives in the pipeline so the more support and donations which we receive mean we can bring these to life sooner and continue our work to normalise the conversation around these important issues which affect so many of us.
LS: The value of social connection runs through both Beder and Lucky Saint. Why is socialising healthily so key for good mental health?
RM: It has been shown socialising can have a positive impact on our emotional and mental health which, in turn, contributes to a happier attitude towards life. Not being able to interact with one another can take a serious toll on our mental and physical health leaving us feeling isolated, depressed or lonely.
We really believe in the value of social connection, and it was at the heart of our in-person events and initiatives when the charity was founded and remains an integral pillar which we look to bring to life whether through our in-person events or physical products.
I know it is also a cornerstone for Lucky Saint and encouraging people to socialise without the need for alcohol is a perfect example of socialising healthily which is why we are delighted to partner with Lucky Saint as we really believe in Luke's vision and the product.
LS: Congratulations, Beder released its first cookbook called 'From Beder's Kitchen' last year. We spotted many recipes from friends of Lucky Saint in there! Tell us more about that experience?
RM: Thank you! From Beder's Kitchen is our first charity cookbook bringing together a range of amazing chefs, restaurants and foodies from around the world to softly raise awareness around mental health and suicide prevention.
It includes recipes from the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Yotam Ottolenghi and Jose Pizzaro to head chefs at restaurants such as Dishoom, Hawksmoor and Carvan in addition to a number of MasterChef winners and leading foodie influencers.
It all came about after we started hosting online cooking classes during lockdown as a means of bringing people together whilst the UK was in lockdown as these classes proved really popular and allowed us to connect with a variety of chefs and foodies interested in raising awareness around these issues.
Though, from each conversation, it really opened my eyes to the stigma surrounding mental health in the hospitality industry and the fact so many within the industry suffer in silence with their mental health. So, the idea of creating a charity cookbook seemed like a good idea to build on our momentum and use it as a chance to raise awareness within the hospitality industry and more generally as the UK's first lockdown began to lift.
The creation of From Beder's Kitchen was an amazing experience but also a steep learning curve as I quickly realised so much more than you would ever imagine goes into the creation of a cookbook. Luckily, everything worked out and a beautiful cookbook was created which allows Beder, as a charity, to raise awareness and reach those throughout the UK as well as internationally through the power of food.
From Beder's Kitchen is more than a typical charity cookbook as it includes a range of reflections from the contributors about how they look after their mental health or what advice they would give to their younger self which provides a really interesting read both in terms of the recipes kindly provided by the contributors and their personal reflections.
We are incredibly fortunate From Beder's Kitchen has been met with such great support as it has been purchased by people all over the world and it is stocked in Waterstones, Harrods, Wholefoods, Daylesford and a range of bookshops throughout Dubai.
LS: The Beder Mindful Toolkit is such a great resource. What inspired you to start collating and sharing such content?
RM: We believe it is really important to dedicate time for self-care and looking after our mental health but appreciate it can be quite overwhelming to know where to start given the range of resources and platforms available nowadays, so we created The Beder Mindful Toolkit.
The Beder Mindful Toolkit is a hub of mindfulness content featuring some of our favourite resources - including books, podcasts, apps and documentaries - which we hope people enjoy exploring and find useful.
LS: We have an exciting year ahead of us. What are you most looking forward to about the partnership between Beder & Lucky Saint?
RM: What a question! I know Beder and Lucky Saint have lots of exciting things in the pipeline - both together and individually which I am looking forward to sharing with everyone soon - but I am honestly really excited for Beder to be a part of the Lucky Saint family and to work alongside Luke, Emma, Harry and the wider Lucky Saint Team as we each look to play our part in raising awareness around these issues.
It was clear from the outset Lucky Saint, as a business, really cares about raising awareness around the topics of mental health and suicide prevention and has been taking a pro-active approach to making a difference.
I always believe we are stronger together, rather than alone, and I know this partnership will have a meaningful impact in raising awareness both within the hospitality industry and amongst the general public as it continues to grow and develop so watch this space!
Find out more about Beder's work here.