Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund for Adults

Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund for Adults

Launch of YEAR 3

A Year 3 of Midlothian Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund for Adults is being launched today, with £246,454.83 to be distributed to local third sector organisations and community groups by the end of March 2024. The Fund aims to support people’s mental health and wellbeing and to provide opportunities to connect with others in local community.

We’re delighted to announce that highly anticipated Midlothian Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund for Adults re-opens at midday on Friday 29th of September. In Midlothian there is £246,454.83 available in Year 3 across three separate grant streams, consisting of microgrants up to the value of £2000, small grants up to £10,000 and a very limited number of larger grants up to £30,000 each. Up to £5000 per organisation will also be available for capital spend to compliment the small and larger grant streams. In the Year 3, there most likely to be only one round of funding so we recommend making a solid plan for your project.

For the last two years every Third Sector Interface (TSI) across Scotland has been involved in raising awareness of mental health and wellbeing through community-based activity, led by local third sector organisations and voluntary groups.

In Midlothian the fund had been overseen by a team of staff and volunteers from the TSI, Midlothian Council, Health in Mind, and Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership.

Colloquially called “the Sunflower Fund” the funding has a strong emphasis on collaboration, partnerships, capacity building and the development of creative projects that can work at a very grassroots level, together with local people. All these to ensure outcomes are inclusive and have maximum impact. TSIs look to continue to build upon partnerships established in the first two years of the Fund and aim to work with, involve or consult a range of relevant bodies.

In Year 3 people with lived experience will continue to be engaged and involved those partnerships and fund administration process from an early stage and in ongoing planning and decision making. We will be looking to achieve a balance of existing and new projects.

The National Fund Guideline explains the various intricacies of the fund with one theme throughout: learning from Year 1 and 2. In practice this will mean: building on existing collaborations, reaching out further and maintaining established relationships beyond Year 3.

In Year 3 we would like to fund more projects targeting women affected by violence (VAW), BAME groups, migrants, LGBTQ+ people, carers, lone or vulnerable parents with young children, people who are bereaved and those affected by poverty and/or deprivation. Please refer to the guidance for more information.

Applications are welcomed both from existing grant holders, and new applicants. Applicants can apply to continue existing projects funded by the Fund, but must demonstrate how the project will develop.

Lesley Kelly, Chief Officer of Midlothian TSI, which includes Midlothian Voluntary Action and Volunteer Midlothian, said of the Fund, 

‘We are thrilled to have been given this money to distribute locally, whilst working together with our partners over the next few months.

Midlothian is facing even more funding cuts therefore it is particularly important to make the fund go far and for it to leave a lasting legacy after those 3 years of funding. We know that Midlothian’s communities are committed to supporting mental wellbeing.

 The Fund will help local groups and organisations to build capacity, enabling more people to make social connections and access opportunities that promote mental health, prevent decline of wellbeing and provide means to overcome mental health challenges. This may include addressing the cost-of-living crisis, or focusing on other, wider issues such as the climate emergency and/or for example the war in Ukraine.”

Fund enquiries should be directed to Magda Clark