£500,000 for charities to improve mental health and wellbeing

£500,000 has been awarded to charities across Leicester, Leicestershire And Rutland, through the Getting Help In Neighbourhoods (GHIN) grant scheme, as part of plans to improve mental health and wellbeing.

The GHIN grant programme is one of many schemes aiming to transform support for mental health and wellbeing across LLR. The fund is dedicated to  increasing activities in local neighbourhoods, closer to where people live.

A key part of the GHIN project is the grant scheme which aims to invest more into local voluntary and community sector partners (VCS) to deliver mental health and wellbeing projects. Funded by the NHS in partnership with Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council and Rutland County Council, this latest round has seen £500,000 awarded to 23 local VCS organisations and builds on the 28 projects that received awards totalling £800,000 in the first round of funding in May 2022.

Justin Hammond, Head of All Age Mental Health, Learning Disability, Autism and Dementia Services at the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Integrated Care Board (LLR ICB), said: “We recognise and value the immense contribution that the voluntary and community sector makes in the delivery of support services for the people of LLR. I am so pleased that we have been able to extend our investment further this year and in doing so, support the fantastic work these organisations are doing to help people with their mental health and wellbeing.” 

One of the successful bidders was Claire Gray, a founder of Angels and Monsters/Bloom Learning in Braunstone. Claire said: “We are delighted to receive this funding which will be used to expand our counselling support. We’re a small charity that specialises in supporting young parents, mainly the mothers, with their mental health and wellbeing. Our therapist works on issues linked to post-natal depression and general anxiety and depression. This money will help us to provide support to 30 young families and will make such a difference as they start their lives as parents.”

Rob Melling from Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, one of the partners behind GHIN, added: “Once again, we were overwhelmed with applications and impressed with the quality and diversity of the applications that were awarded grants. We have now invested in a further 23 VCS organisations to enable them to make a difference to the lives of the people that they support. We have already seen a positive impact from organisations who were successful in round one (awarded in May 2022) and we expect this next cohort to do the same.”

One such organisation from round one was the Sue Young Cancer Support charity that received funding to expand its counselling service. Courtney Nagle from the charity said: “Because of this funding we can see more people and meet their needs more effectively. COVID has been a big issue as people have not been seeing their GP and not getting out. Our offer is now a holistic service; we assess people and they get a care plan that could include counselling, mindfulness, relaxation, gentle movement classes, pilates, yoga and complimentary therapies such as rake, relexology, facial massage and aromatherapy. This has made such a difference to our clients’ wellbeing.”

The GHIN grants scheme is administered by Leicestershire & Rutland Community Foundation (LRCF), an organisation that strengthens local communities by giving thoughtful grants to local charities and voluntary groups, for all kinds of local needs. LRCF assessed each organisaiotns due diligence and projects agains the fund critereia and presented all applications to a diverse panel of experts from different local and national organisations to oversee the decisions which were made against set criteria. The grants awarded ranged from £5,000 right up to the maximum of £50,000.

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