People’s Champion finalist 2018: Sanctus

Builders of the world’s first mental health ‘gym’, Sanctus promotes mind fitness. But will you exercise your fingers and give it your People’s Champion vote?

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Start-up name: Sanctus
Founders: James Routledge and George Bettany
Started in: 2016
Based in: London
Business description: Providers of personal coaches to help employees cope with the stresses of life and work.

Shortlisted category:

Side Hustle of the Year

The Sanctus story:

Too often taken for granted, for many the mind languishes behind the body when it comes to personal health.

Recognising the widening chasm of emphasis and how it had impacted on their own lives, James Routledge and George Bettany are on a quest to make mental health an equal priority.

Picking up the story of how Sanctus came to be, Routledge describes the first start-up the pair worked on together.

“After three and a half years of intense all-consuming life in the start-up world, raising $1m, building a team and product to scale – I burned out.

“What followed was a deep sense of loss and after nine months of battling with my mental health, this blog post went viral in the London start-up ecosystem.

“Before I knew it, I was giving talks about my mental health, about failure and about vulnerability. I’d found my passion – mental health.”

Now, Sanctus Coaches – much like personal trainers but for mental health – provide 45-minute slots in clients’ offices. There are around 30 coaches seeing more than 500 people per month, with 10 running the business from Sanctus HQ. All of which is giving the company’s balance sheet a clean bill of health too.

Why The Sanctus made our shortlist:

Sanctus is proof that employers are taking notice of the impact mental health problems can have on their businesses.

The start-up is working with 50 businesses across the UK, including tech brands TransferWise, Onfido and carwow, as well as corporate clients such as Aviva, and a host of agencies and consultancies.

Where to find out more about Sanctus:


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