Fund & Grant News
28 Sep 2021
The Community Foundation has announced the allocation of nearly £9m in funding through the recent Mental Health Support Fund which was established earlier this year. The fund, which was established by Health Minister Robin Swann, will allocate over £8.8m in support grants to a range of charitable and community organisations
providing mental health services.
Across Northern Ireland, 30 projects will receive funding to support works within mental health and well being as part of the initial round of funding released through grants from the Mental Health Support Fund. The announcement forms part of an overall £24m package of funding made available by the Minister and his Department in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to support carers, cancer charities and mental health organisations.
The groups who have been awarded the funding for Mental Health Support will provide services including increasing counselling provision and support services, expanding peer support networks and providing trauma support programmes. The projects are aimed at a wide range of ages from children through to older people.
Welcoming the initial grant payments the Minister said:
“The negative impact of the pandemic and restrictions on people’s mental health and wellbeing is undeniable. When I launched the Mental Health Support Fund earlier this year my aim was to equip and enable our local charity sector to help ensure they continue to provide important and vital mental health services in our communities”
“These grants are only the first allocation from the £10m Fund and, alongside the 10- year Mental Health Strategy published at the end of June, we will work to ensure that anyone who needs help receives the help they need.”
The Fund which is being administered and managed by the Community Foundation NI on behalf of the Department aims to provide grant funding to organisations with charitable status that can deliver outcomes to improve the mental health and
emotional wellbeing of the population. Earlier this month the Foundation announced the allocation of over 590,000 to support carers in the community and a further £3 million to support cancer charities and groups here.
Roisin Wood, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation, welcomed the allocation of monies to the Mental Health Support Fund and said:
“We always knew given the impact on mental health and well being as a result of the pandemic that there would be an exponential interest in this fund, and we were right. Whilst we have today announced funding to 30 projects, we could have multiplied this fivefold with 104 applications having been received requesting £33.5m. This meant the Foundation has had to be really stringent in our criteria so I appreciate that some organisations will be disappointed by today’s announcement whilst many will be very happy.
To those who have missed out, I would encourage them to continue to look at where the other funds including small and medium grants which are already open can provide support. We realise that alongside the launch of the recent mental health strategy there is so much work to be done in this space and so to the projects who have been successful we know they will make a significant difference to the communities they work in.”
Orlaith Bradley, Manager of Belfast project, Kids Together, who have been awarded nearly £300,000 said:
“This funding will support those children living with ASD and their families who due to their additional needs have been further disadvantage by the pandemic, addressing their health and wellbeing through a range of programmes tailored to each families needs.”
Welcoming the announcement of nearly £250,000 towards their projects, Shane Coulter, Operations Manager Clare CIC added:
“This funding will be a game-changer for CLARE-CIC. The Voluntary and Community sector has always struggled to get consistent and adequate funding leading to problems with recruitment and retention of staff. With this funding, we can plan ahead for the next 2 to 3 years and respond to the Mental Health crisis caused by this pandemic. COVID 19 and restrictions have been difficult for everyone but especially for the older population, we support. There has been a huge impact on social isolation, loneliness and people’s physical and mental health. This funding from the DOH will allow CLARE-CIC to recruit more staff and enable us to respond flexibly and effectively to the huge need out there.”
Further small grant (from £5,000 to £30,000) and medium grant (from £30,000- £100,000) applications have opened since 20 September 2021. Further information can be found here
View all organisations supported through the mental health support fund here.