– Small voluntary and community groups invited to help support the mental health and wellbeing of people across the Island.

The Isle of Wight Council is inviting applications from small voluntary and community groups to help support the mental health and wellbeing of people across the Island.

The Public Health Team, in partnership with Mental Health Champion Cllr Michael Lilley and IOW Healthwatch have developed a Mental Wellbeing Small Grants Fund to support voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations to deliver innovative local projects to support mental wellbeing on the Island.

Cllr Karl Love, Cabinet member for Adult Social Care and Public Health said: “COVID-19 has illuminated and magnified the harms and complexities many island people have experienced during the pandemic. Evidence has shown that national policies to prevent the spread of this virus, such as restricting the interaction and movement of residents, isolating people and communities along with the impact of illness from the virus, have had a major impact on mental health and wellbeing.

“This has affected people in different ways. Some of those affected were those who previously experienced good mental health and wellbeing and have quickly recovered. However, for others the impact of COVID-19 will be felt for a long time. We therefore wanted to support the role of the Mental Health Champion empowering and supporting community based solutions, improving wellbeing and our collective mental health.”

The one-off grants for up to £5,000, will acknowledge the link between physical and mental health and focus on people and communities who are most at risk of mental ill health including:

  • unpaid carers,
  • veterans,
  • older people,
  • those disproportionately impacted by COVID

These projects will be embedded in communities and will be responsive to local needs.

Simon Bryant, Director of Public Health for the Isle of Wight Council said: “I am pleased we are working with Cllr Lilley and Healthwatch to offer small grants to organisations who are supporting people in their own community. Mental wellbeing is an important determinant of people’s quality of life and is protective against physical illness, social inequalities and unhealthy lifestyles. This fund will help make a real difference to people’s lives through providing support for mental health and wellbeing in places and ways that people really need them.”

Cllr Lilley added; “Good mental well-being is essential for our day-to-day functioning. As the IW Council Mental Health Champion, I want to see improved support targeted to all Island residents at the start of 2022 to make sure every Islander, whatever age or circumstance, has easy access to the support they need. This fund will target local and grassroots support who are on the ground and provide the nearest help, alongside people with lived experience”

The further details and electronic application form can be found at www.iow.gov.uk/mwsmallgrants

All applications must be submitted by midday on Thursday 10 February 2022.

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