Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund – UK

Deadline: 15-Mar-22

The Aberdeen Council of Voluntary Organisations’ (ACVO) Communities Mental Health & Wellbeing Fund is now accepting applications from eligible applicants. The fund was established by the Scottish Government to provide grants to grassroots community groups and organisations across Scotland in response to the mental health need arising from the pandemic.

The intended outcome of The Fund is to develop a culture of mental wellbeing and prevention within local communities, tackling priority issues such as suicide prevention, social isolation, and loneliness, as well as improving awareness of how they can all stay well and help others. Over £ 570,000 will be distributed in Aberdeen City. Applications will be assessed by the ACVO team on a rolling basis to enable faster distribution of the funds.

Focus areas

The Fund seeks to contribute to the four key areas of focus from the Mental Health Transition and Recovery Plan:

  • Promoting and supporting the conditions for good mental health and wellbeing at population level. 
  • Providing accessible signposting to help, advice and support. 
  • Providing a rapid and easily accessible response to those in distress. 
  • Ensuring safe, effective treatment and care of people living with mental illness.

The overarching aim of The Fund is to support community-based initiatives that promote and develop good mental health and wellbeing, and / or mitigate and protect against the impact of distress and mental ill health within the adult population:

  • Tackling priority issues within the Transition and Recovery Plan such as suicide prevention, social isolation and loneliness, prevention, and early intervention. 
  • Addressing the mental health inequalities exacerbated by the pandemic and the needs of a range of ‘at risk’ groups locally. 
  • Supporting small ‘grass roots’ community groups and organizations to deliver such activities. 
  • Providing opportunities for people to connect with each other, build trusted relationships and revitalize communities. 
  • Supporting recovery and creativity locally by building on what is already there, what has been achieved through the pandemic, and by investing in creative solutions.
Funding information

To enable groups and organizations to manage any grant that they secure, and to facilitate access to smaller grants for small groups and organizations, the following levels are being applied to The Fund:

  • Level 1 – Up to £ 2000 (inc. Unconstituted groups) – Maximum income up to £ 250,000 in the most recent financial year 
  • Level 2 – £ 2001- £ 10,000 (constituted groups only) – Maximum income up to £ 500,000 in the most recent financial year 
  • Level 3- £ 10,001- £ 50,000 (constituted groups only) – Maximum income up to £ 1 million in the most recent financial year 
  • The Fund also seeks to contribute to the following national outcomes from the National Performance Framework:
    • They are healthy and active. 
    • They will live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe. 
    • They tackle poverty by sharing opportunities, wealth, and power more equally.
  • In line with the Scottish Government’s long-term outcomes for mental health in communities, The Fund intends to provide investment for:
    • Fostering a strategic and preventative approach to improving community mental health. 
    • Supporting the resilience of communities and investing in their capacity to develop their own solutions, including through strong local partnerships. 
    • Tackling the social determinants of mental health by targeting resources and collaborating with other initiatives to tackle poverty and inequality.
Eligibility Criteria
  • The ambition of The Fund is to support initiatives which promote mental health and wellbeing at a small scale, grass roots, community level. It will be accessible to all groups, no matter how small or inexperienced they are (including unconstituted groups). It can support both new and existing groups or projects. It is ACVO’s intention that new and unconstituted groups will be supported with the governance, funding and volunteering advice that facilitates them to build internal capacity. These do not have to have mental health and wellbeing as their primary focus, but their application does have to clearly benefit the mental health and wellbeing of people in the community that they serve.
  • Applications can be made from a range of community and voluntary ‘not for profit’ organizations, associations, and groups who have a strong community focus for their activities. Partnership applications are welcomed and encouraged, providing all the groups associated with the project fall into the criteria. The range of organizations that can apply are: 
    • Unincorporated Associations
    • Companies Limited by Guarantee 
    • Trusts 
    • Not-for-profit company or asset locked company or Community Interest Companies (CIC) 
    • Cooperative and Community Benefit Societies 
    • Community Councils
  • Unconstituted groups will have the opportunity to apply for grants of up to £ 2,000, and where a group does not have access to a bank account for their organization, then alternative constituted groups or organizations would be allowed to hold a grant for them (a letter of agreement will need to be provided with the application). This is to enable smaller, ‘heart of the community’ type groups to benefit from The Fund and deliver their services / projects within their neighborhoods. 
  • The focus of The Fund is on the adult population and on projects which help whole communities and / or community groups to make a difference to the lives of individuals. For the purposes of The Fund, the adult population is people aged 16 years and over. They recognize that this will present some overlap with Children and Young People Community Support Funding – although that funding is focused on targeted Children & Young People projects.  
  • Through the assessment process, ACVO and the external assessors will ensure that funding is allocated to initiatives which have a focus on delivering against the aims and principles of The Fund as described previously. 
  • The Fund will support applications for the expansion of existing activities, but emphasis will be placed on applications that provide additionality and not on providing replacement funding. 
  • Organizations can only submit one application per project, however multiple applications from the same organization to support  different projects that meet the eligibility criteria (up to the value of £ 50,000 in total across all applications) is acceptable.

For more information, visit https://acvo.org.uk/mhgrants/