Forth Valley: £345,800 of large grants given to 29 organisations and a further £66,215 in small grants given to 21 organisations
bOunceT Innovative Occupational Therapy: awarded £10,000 for project expenses until March 2022 – new mental health project to support adults with disabilities, and their parents/carers. More news about this project below.
A new fund provided by the Scottish Government will help tackle the impact of social isolation, loneliness and the mental health inequalities made worse by the pandemic. The £15 million Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund aims to support adult community-based initiatives across Scotland.
SVE and CTSI, as part of the TSI Scotland Network, have distributed £412,015 to third sector groups locally to provide activities to help tackle the mental health and wellbeing issues that have arisen from the pandemic.
The main bulk of the funds have been provided by Scottish Government in a new £15million fund that has come out directly to the TSI Scotland Network to be distributed through to local grassroots organisations within communities.
In addition, locally the TSIs have also distributed a small ‘test of change’ fund provided by Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership.
Natalie Masterson, chief officer at SVE, said: “The two TSIs work closely together and were able to move quickly to develop a plan for the distribution.
“One of the key elements of the fund was developing a steering group which we did and our thanks goes to our public sector partners in health and our two respective councils, and also members of our local communities with live experience that represent mental health and carers.”For more information and support see www.sventerprise.org.uk.
“Scottish Government asked us to ensure that the funding went to specific groups that have been hardest hit by the pandemic, but we were also able to add to that list with our own identified priority groups locally. We offered two levels of grant – up to £5K and up to £10K and received over 100 applications in just a few weeks.”
In total £345,800 of large grants have been given to 29 organisations and a further £66,215 small grants given to 21 smaller organisations, covering a wide range of needs and communities across Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire.
Here, at bOunceT, we have been awarded a grant of £10,000 to provide mental health and wellbeing support to a range of adults with disabilities, and their parents & carers.
Consultation and meaningful participation with our stakeholders is a crucial part of the work we do at bOunceT. We have consulted both formally and informally with the people who access our services to find out exactly what our target population want – and need – during these challenging times.
The target population we work with are deprived and alienated from their usual lifestyle and everyday activities that have meaning to them – this is causing an imbalance within their daily routine, mood, behaviours etc. It is important to remember the level of physical, social, and sensory challenges this population face throughout their life usually due to
their own, or the person they supports, disability. It is evident through recent research and our direct observations that adults with disabilities, and their families, have experienced significantly more disadvantage during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To make measuring outcomes as simple as possible, we have categorised our support into different Outcomes & Activities:
Outcome 1: Improved physical and mental health and wellbeing of adults with disabilities
Activity: Provide 40 x1 hour, fully-funded, specialist activity sessions for adults with disabilities to improve their physical & social development and sensory processing. One of our certified Play Leaders and/or Occupational Therapists will deliver sessions to make the activities and play at the ‘just right’ challenge for each individual based on their needs.
Naturally, as we continue to have strict COVID-19 measures in place, we will need to keep our space as clean as possible with all staff complying to government guidelines.
Outcome 2: Parents & Carers have improved social relationships with their child/person they support with disabilities. They feel more confident in facilitating inclusive play, and participating in play with a purpose, with their child or the person they support.
Outcome 3: Parents & Carers to overcome the potential barriers to play – enabling them to participate in inclusive and meaningful play with their children/person they support anytime, anywhere!
Outcome 4: Parents & Carers more educated about prioritising play for their own mental health and wellbeing.
2. Health Promotion: online marketing and sharing of meaningful resources for parents & carers.
The aim of these two interventions is to adopt a preventative and early intervention approach to developing their self-confidence and improving their own mental health.
Outcome 5: Parents and carers to have a non-judgemental, safe and confidential space to express their feelings and concerns about their children and/or the people they support.
To find out more about the £15 million to help improve mental wellbeing across Scotland, follow this link:
A range of charity-support bodies and social enterprises, known as third sector interfaces, will manage the fund in partnership with local integrated health authorities and other partners including Community Planning Partnerships and local authority mental health leads.
The Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund is part of the wider £120 million Recovery and Renewal Fund announced in February 2021 to ensure delivery of the commitments set out in the Mental Health Transition and Recovery Plan in response to the mental health need arising from the pandemic.
Mental Wellbeing Minister Kevin Stewart launched the fund at Saheliya in Edinburgh, a specialist mental health and well-being support organisation for black and minority ethnic women and girls.
Mr Stewart said:
“This funding reflects the importance we place on promoting good mental health and early intervention for those in distress and will help develop a culture of mental wellbeing and prevention within local communities. It is vital now, more than ever as we start to re-open society that we support the mental health and wellbeing of individuals. I am very keen that this benefits communities across all of Scotland.”