Organisations awarded £725,000 from mental health and wellbeing fund

Fifty-eight community organisations across south of Scotland are sharing more than £725,000 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.

A total of £445,026 was split between 33 third sector organisations across Dumfries and Galloway, while £280,119 is to go to 25 Scottish Borders organisations.

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.”

The popular In Stiches group in Langholm.
The popular In Stiches group in Langholm.

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.”

The Older Person Project at Mossburn Community Farm, Hightae.

Another grant recipient, the Older Person Project at Mossburn Community Farm, Hightae, is specifically aimed at people over the age of 50 and has been set up to tackle social isolation and loneliness in this age group. 

The project will involve a group of eight attending Mossburn Community Farm for weekly sessions where they will participate in a range of activities including therapeutic animal interaction, nature activities, pony agility, games and much more.

Asham Rostron, a qualified therapist at the farm, who will lead the sessions, said: “We are delighted to have received funding for this project, which aims to bring together older people living in our communities who are feeling isolated and lonely and who may also be struggling with emotional, physical and mental difficulties. 

“This project will promote socialisation through our games and activities.  It will enable participants to take part in activities in a relaxed environment where they can receive support from their peers and, of course, from the many animals that we have at Mossburn.  Being active in the fresh air, surrounded by animals, provides a range of benefits to the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of the older person.”

The sessions start in April, and they are working in partnership with Age Scotland to promote and encourage participation in the sessions.

Main picture caption: Craft club at Kate’s Kitchen in Annan.

GRANT RECIPIENTS: Organisation-Project-Award

Dumfries and Galloway

Main Grants

Wigtownshire Women and Cancer – Expanding the Reach of Wigtownshire Women and Cancer – £17,350

Creation Mill CIC – Social Stitches – £18,500

South West Scotland RnR – HGV training – £24,000

Wigtown Bay Coastal Rowing Club – Isle 2nd skiff, and Growing Space Combo launch – £9909

Mossburn Community Farm – The Older Person Project – £22,576

OutPost Arts – Developing Creative Wellbeing D&G – £50,000

Bipolar Scotland – Self-management training – £5060

The Whithorn Trust – Women’s Shed Project – £18,600

LGBT Youth Scotland – Support for LGBTI young people aged 16-25 in D&G – £20,000

Kate’s Kitchen – Body and mind serenity – £21,778.57

UNACCI Upper Nithsdale Arts and Crafts Community Initiative (A’ the Airts) – Adult Wellbeing – £22,500

Paragon Ensemble Ltd – Get In (the) Groove – £15,000

Isle Futures – Community Resilience Integrated Support Programme – £12,500

Stranraer Water Sports Association – Let’s Get Wet – £18,144.43

Old School Thornhill – Well Being Volunteer Co-ordinator – £25,748

Better Lives Partnership – Bridge to Creative Programme – £22,852 (part-funded)

Inspired Community Enterprise Trust Ltd – Fostering Resilience in young people (YP) with additional support needs (ASN) using a settings-based approach – £25,582.54

All Roads Lead to Whithorn – Warm Machars Space – £16,780

Dumfries & Galloway College – Mental Health 1st Aid Roadshow – £15,100

Glenkens and Community Arts Trust – Together in The Glenkens – £28,812

Small Grants

The Rhins Mens Shed – Integration – £3000

Dumfries Get Together – Get together online – £2991.92

Kirkmahoe Community Council – Soup and pud group – £750

DG ME and Fibromyalgia Network – Being Together – £2700

Sports Driving Unlimited – Pony driving sessions for people with additional needs – £2992

Mossburn Community Farm – Alzheimer’s Project – £2804

Threave Rovers FC – Get your head on it – £3000

Sanquhar Enterprise Company – Upper Nithsdale Walking Group – £2941

User and carer involvement – Sexual health and relationship workshops Next level – £3000

SHAP (Safe, Healthy and Active Partnership) – Tai Chi – £2192

D&G LGBT Plus – Out for a cuppa – £2655

Castle Douglas Development Forum – Men’s Shed Refit – £2368

Crossmichael Community Council – Community resilience support – £2840

Scottish Borders

Main Grants

STAT SALUS C.I.C. – The Silent Sufferers – £3247

Nature Unlimited CIC – Women for Wellbeing – £22,388

Recovery Coaching Scotland CIC Borders Recover Community – Community Recovery Café Initiative – £35,250

Tweed Togs – Supporting Outdoor Activities and Wellbeing – £9120

Nurture the Borders C.I.C. – Better Together – £26,545

Cheviot Youth – Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Support Service – £33,696

Quarriers – Quarriers Resilience for Wellbeing Service – Community Supports – £38,895

Borders Carers Centre – Me Time – £10,000

Berwickshire Housing Association – BeWell – Tenancy Support and Wellbeing Service – £46,600

Cornerstone Community Care – Friday Lunch Club – £8989.10

Eastgate Theatre – Better Balanced Lives – £12,102.24 (Part-funded)

Small Grants

Cheviot Togs – Cheviot togs underwear stock – £2000

Dynamic Community Fusion – Borders Brain Injury Service – £3000

The Tweed Valley Cheyne Gang – Tweed Valley Cheyne Gang singing for joy – £3000

Innerleithen, Traquair & Walkerburn Parish Church of Scotland (ITW) – Chatty crafting – £3000

Whitsome Village Hall – Whitsome winter warmer – £2362

Inspiring Life: Evie Douglas Memorial Fund – Inspiring Life Day – £2500

Leitholm Village Hall – Gentle Exercise Class – £1890

Oor Space Youthy – Oor space parents – £2950

Duns Senior Citizens Club – Christmas lunch celebration – £785

Perfect Harmony – Bringing life through music – £2900

Allanbank Arts – Art for carers of young people with ASN – £2930

Newcastleton and district community trust – Mums support hub – £2774

Bonchester 60+ Club – Christmas – £240

Scottish Borders LGBT Equality Charity – TransGen – £2956