Business leaders and funding organisations from across Cheshire have joined forces with Cheshire Community Foundation to back a new funding initiative designed to help tackle the increase in mental ill-health in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The £350,000 ‘Cheshire Minds Matter’ grants programme is being targeted at smaller, local charities whose services help protect and enhance the mental health and wellbeing of disadvantaged people in communities across Cheshire and Warrington.
An altered operating environment calls for a new way of thinking, so the focus will be on helping charities to adapt the way that they work, developing innovative new ways of delivering their services and encouraging collaboration to build organisational capacity. A ‘grant plus’ approach will not only see charities receive funding, but will supply entrepreneurial know-how and expert support to help improve service delivery, and ensure they can adapt and thrive in the long term.
As Zoe Sheppard, CEO of Cheshire Community Foundation commented, “Even before the pandemic, people in Cheshire and Warrington affected by mental health and wellbeing issues often struggled to get the support they needed, and now Covid-19 is having a serious and life changing impact on many more people across our area,”
“Poor mental health is directly linked to educational attainment, poverty and unemployment. From the very young to the elderly, we know that the additional stresses placed on families and individuals whose lives have been devastated by the pandemic has created a great wave of additional need which the charitable sector will be asked to help address”.
“It’s impossible to understate the importance of the voluntary sector is supplementing and complementing mainstream statutory provision, filling some of the gaps and offering continuity. It is for these, often modest community providers that this fund has been specifically created.”
Applications for grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 are being invited from registered charities, constituted community groups and other charitable organisations, including social enterprises and CICs delivering projects in Cheshire and Warrington. Single applicants can apply for up to £15,000 and partnerships up to £50,000.
Information on eligibility and how to apply can be found here