04 Mar 2022

Community groups benefit from grants

More than £54,000 of grant funding has been awarded to small voluntary and community groups across the Isle of Wight to deliver innovative projects which support and improve people's mental health and wellbeing.

Seventeen organisations have received one-off grants of between £750 and £5,000 under the Mental Health Small Grants Fund, launched last month by the Isle of Wight Council's Public Health team in partnership with Mental Health Champion, Councillor Michael Lilley, and Healthwatch Isle of Wight.

Councillor Lilley said: "The response to the call for applications was amazing and it was really difficult to decide the final projects all of which had incredible innovation.

"The range of projects awarded covers the Island geographically and some of the groups who we know can be more vulnerable to loneliness, isolation, depression, and suicide such as the LGBT+ community, veterans and men.

"There were some real social entrepreneurs who were tackling the barriers to support in creative ways, such as Natural Therapy with drumming in the outside environment and Dale Hiller, the pioneer behind the Veterans' Hub café on the High Street in Ryde.

"These were real grassroots initiatives by Islanders which show how powerful self-help and peer support can be in supporting people with their mental health, and helping them to overcome factors such as isolation and loneliness that can lead to anxiety, depression and suicide.

"I look forward in visiting them all over the next six months.”

The fund was developed to make a real difference to people's lives through providing support for mental health and wellbeing in places and ways that Islanders really need them.

Other recipients included Men Only Isle of Wight to establish a Ryde hub offering non-judgmental support and a safe place for men in the community, and Sensory Space CIC providing peer support and safe space for parents with children with additional needs.

Councillor Karl Love, Cabinet member for Public Health, said: "Each project is inspiring in its own way, and we are thrilled to be able to give them a much-needed boost — particularly during these difficult times.

“This funding enables the projects to support more people than ever before, and they cover a real mix of ages, abilities and backgrounds. In particular, many of them support people who are socially isolated or from areas and communities of deprivation.

"I know that all the projects who have been successful will make a significant difference to the communities in which they work. Our administration recognises that this is just one small but important step in supporting our Island people. We intend to make additions steps in the future."

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Seventeen local groups have benefitted from the fund
Seventeen local groups have benefitted from the fund
Factfile
  • Seventeen organisations have received one-off grants of between £750 and £5,000 under the Mental Health Small Grants Fund.
  • The fund was developed to make a real difference to people's lives through providing support for mental health and wellbeing in places and ways that Islanders really need them.
 
Isle of Wight, UK