Wiganer behind mental health clothing brand has new role with leading charity
Matt Peet, who founded Behind A Smile, has become an official fund-raiser for Samaritans UK.
Matt, who is from Shevington, started the brand after battling from depression for several years and came up with the logos and words which now adorn a range of clothes and items such as bags.
Behind A Smile has continued its work during lockdown, with Matt producing face coverings with the logo on and donating the proceeds to Samaritans UK.
The well-known charity, which works to support anyone in emotional distress or at risk of suicide, then returned the compliment by asking if he would like to be a fund-raiser.
Matt, 33, said: “This is massive for me because being recognised by Samaritans UK shows that what I am doing is worthwhile.
“During lockdown I designed masks for people to use with our logo of the smile on. They proved very popular and we raised over £500.
“I decided to donate that to Samaritans and then put a message on social media thanking everyone who had bought a mask.
“Samaritans asked me to get in touch with them and said they really liked what I was doing.
“It’s great that they see the difference Behind A Smile can make.
“Samaritans also tend to work on a lot of different things that can affect mental health, which I like. They look at everything that can affect a person’s wellbeing even if they’ve not got a primary illness like depression.”
Matt has now been running Behind A Smile for a few years and one of his projects this year has been Share A Smile, where people put a smiley-face logo in their window to raise spirits during lockdown.
He is now working on a few other projects while updating Behind A Smile’s online presence to reflect the new link with Samaritans UK.
With no sign of Covid-19 restrictions easing and something like normal life resuming in the coming months, Matt says his work is extremely important as people are going through difficult times.
He said: “People are struggling with the isolation but also with people in groups, if they see there are quite a lot of people around they are more wary about going out.
“Other people are working from home and feel like they are stuck there because they are not going out.
“It’s going to get worse as well with winter coming.
“You will not be looking out at nice sunny views, it will be cold and wet.
“It’s going to be a tough time for a lot of people.”
For more information, visit behind-a-smile.co.uk
Samaritans UK can be contacted at any time on 116 123.