*Press release from Isle of Wight Council
A new round of grant funding to support community-based schemes and activities that help to promote mental wellbeing and prevent mental ill health has been launched today (Monday).
A further £50,000 will be made available through the Isle of Wight Council’s Mental Wellbeing Small Grants Fund.
The fund supports voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations to deliver innovative local projects to support mental wellbeing.
This round of funding will focus on supporting the mental and physical wellbeing of children, young people and their families on the Island, particularly those disproportionately affected by cost of living pressures.
This builds on the success of last year’s round of funding which saw 17 local organisations funded to further support the mental wellbeing of Island residents.
Councillor Michael Lilley, the council’s mental health champion, said: “We are committed to tackling and preventing the causes of poor mental wellbeing for our residents.
“We have already awarded more than £50,000 to community groups across the Island to support the most vulnerable in our community and will be doing this further in 2023/24.
“Cost of living pressures are providing an additional burden to people who may already be experiencing poor mental health, and we have to make sure every resident gets the right support to improve their mental wellbeing at the time they need it.”
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.
Joanna Smith, Healthwatch Isle of Wight manager, said: “We are increasingly hearing from people with increased anxiety who are putting their own health needs on hold as they struggle with housing needs, caring, and generally just trying to keep on top of things.
“Funding through schemes such as the Mental Wellbeing Small Grants Fund is essential to keep people going, through improving access to positive activities, offering a listening ear and helping people access further support if and when they need it.”
Councillor Karl Love, Cabinet member for Public Health, added: “The Mental Wellbeing Small Grants Fund will help our Island people and organisations provide activities that promote positive health and wellbeing, and in particular support people with their mental wellbeing.
“The success of the scheme — thanks to the work of Councillor Lilley, our Public Health team and Healthwatch Isle of Wight — has inspired the council to dig deep and find the funding to support initiatives again in 2023.” More information about the small grants scheme, including how organisations can apply for funding, can be found here.