SMWS Small Grant Fund

Small grants between £500 and £5,000 for local projects promoting mental wellbeing in Somerset.

Introduction

The Somerset Mental Wellbeing Service aims to support individuals across Somerset to improve and maintain their mental wellbeing through access to community resources and opportunities.

A small grant fund has been established to supplement this, providing the opportunity to explore how the five ways to wellbeing can be embedded in every community.

We have three current priorities for the fund.
 
Building the sustainability of peer support groups

Peer support groups are small groups of people who share similar life experiences and meet regularly to build a relationship that provides mutual support for each other. Support is based on sharing experiences and agreeing a reason for meeting. How members choose to meet up or connect with each other is very individual and depends on their personal preferences. Peer support can improve emotional health, wellbeing and sense of belonging.

Peer support workshops are being delivered by Chard WATCH CIC under the SMWS to establish new groups across the county. 

A grant of up to £500 is available for peer support groups upon completion of their training with Chard WATCH as well as any other peer support group established since SMWS started. You can apply for a grant here.

Improving the accessibility of community groups

Somerset is home to a wealth of community groups, but many are unsure how to welcome or accommodate people with mental health problems.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an educational course which teaches people how to identify, understand and help a person who may be developing a mental health problem. In the same way as we learn physical first aid, mental health first aid teaches participants how to recognise those crucial warning signs of mental ill health.

A half day MHFA course provides an introductory four-hour session to raise awareness of mental health. It is designed to give participants:

  • An understanding of what mental health is and how to challenge stigma
  • A basic knowledge of some common mental health issues
  • An introduction to looking after your own mental health and maintaining wellbeing
  • Confidence to support someone in distress or who may be experiencing a mental health issue

Everyone who completes the course gets:

  • A manual to refer to whenever it is needed
  • A workbook including a helpful toolkit to support the participant’s own mental health
  • A certificate of attendance to say they are Mental Health Aware

Courses will be scheduled across the county in the coming months. Upon completion each community group will be awarded a £500 grant. 

Responding to emerging needs

Through the SMWS, partners and other stakeholders will identify new opportunities to support those with mental health problems. An open grants fund is therefore available for projects that:

  • Expand, scale-up or replicate existing community projects that are already effective
  • Adapt existing community projects to make them more accessible or beneficial to those with mental health needs
  • Pilot a new approach and evaluate its success
  • Fill gaps in current provision

Awards of between £500 and £5,000 are available. You can apply for an open grant here.


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