Thirty-three community organisations across Dumfries and Galloway are sharing £445,026 to help tackle mental health and wellbeing.
The successful applicants to the second round of the Scottish Government’s Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund were selected through an independent scoring panel.
Round two of the fund aims to help tackle issues on the path to recovery from Covid, such as suicide prevention, social isolation, and loneliness. There was a particular focus on supporting small ‘grassroots’ community groups and organisations.
Smaller grants were available up to £3000 and larger projects able to bid for up to £50,000. A panel of people with lived experience reviewed the larger grant submissions and advised on suitable projects.
The fund in the south of Scotland was administered again by Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway (TSDG).
Norma Austin Hart, TSDG’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted to announce the successful projects to be funded by the fund this year. The first-round last year demonstrates how valuable the work of grassroots organisations is when improving the well-being of their own communities.
“This time the fund was almost four times over-subscribed, so we know there is an appetite for this work. Congratulations to the successful projects and thank you to the Scottish Government for the funding to support them.”
Julie White, Chief Officer of Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership, added: “The Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund provides a fantastic opportunity for grassroots community groups and organisations to bid for financial help in promoting and developing good mental health and wellbeing across our region.
“I’m delighted that the second round of funding resulted in such a strong range of bids, and congratulate all of those organisations which are now set to receive grants ranging up to £50,000.
“The 91 community organisations across the south of Scotland which shared funding from the first round last year have been putting that financial support to extremely good use, in initiatives aimed at helping to tackle issues such as suicide prevention, social isolation and loneliness, and I’m eager to see the positive outcomes which emerge from the second round of funding from this programme.”
Creation Mill in Langholm was awarded £18,500 to continue and expand on a weekly creative health group.
Abi Setters, Creation Mill’s Community Project Manager, said: “Our In Stitches group is focused on women who are in the 50-plus age bracket, although all are welcome. It has grown from being once a month, with an average of seven attending, to a weekly session with an average of 18 attendees.
“It’s a really interesting group of ladies that thoroughly enjoy meeting up and getting the peer support and social inclusion that this group offers. The sessions have become quite the hot ticket in Langholm with people even coming from nearby villages to get in on the action.”
Kate’s Kitchen in Annan receive £21,778 for their Body and Mind Serenity project.
Manager Hazel Thompson said: “Kate’s Kitchen are delighted to secure another year of funding to develop and expand our social activities. Both our garden project and arts and crafts group run weekly and all attendees tell us it is a great way to enjoy socialising and definitely improves their mental wellbeing.”