A new fund to support mental health and wellbeing is being launched in Midlothian today with £241,000 to be distributed to local third sector organisations and community groups. Social enterprises will also be able to benefit from the Fund, which aims to promote initiatives that will benefit adults aged 16+.
The money will help to address the impact of social isolation and loneliness caused by the pandemic, as well as health inequalities that have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The funding has been provided by the Scottish Government as part of a wider £15 million programme for Covid-19 recovery and renewal.
In Midlothian, the Fund will be overseen by representatives from the TSI, Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership, Midlothian Council, Health in Mind, Penumbra, CAPS Collective Advocacy and people with lived experience. There will be £241,000 across three separate grant streams consisting of micro-grants up to the value of £2000, small grants up to £10,000 and a limited number of larger grants in the region of £30,000 each. Money will also be available for capital spend on land or building projects, to compliment the small and larger grant streams.
Lesley Kelly, Chief Officer of Midlothian TSI, which includes Midlothian Voluntary Action and Volunteer Midlothian, said of the Fund, ‘We are really excited to have been given this money to distribute locally, whilst working together with our partners over the next few months. We know that there is a huge amount already going on in Midlothian’s communities to support 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 wellbeing.’
It is hoped that a similar amount of money will also be available in the next financial year (2022-23) and that creative proposals will be received for a wide range of activities with a focus on wellbeing in the community. Priority areas include recovery from addiction, social isolation and loneliness, suicide prevention, dementia community supports, access to physical activity, support for carers and anything else to promote mental wellbeing for adults aged 16+ at a grassroots, local level.
To find out more, go to the Funding page on MVA’s website, where you can read the Partnership Plan and Fund Guidance. Application forms can be downloaded from there. Please also share this article and spread the word about the Fund with others in Midlothian.