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Isle of Wight Mental Health Projects To Benefit From Nearly £200,000

The Isle of Wight NHS Trust has been awarded nearly £200,000 of grant funding, which will go towards a number of mental health projects on the Island.

Isle of Wight Youth Trust, Wight DASH and Kae’s Trust CIC are just a few of the projects which will receive a portion of the £193,456 funding.

The news follows a significant donation in February 2020, by the Richmond Fellowship, passing on funds from the IW Association for Mental Health, a former Island charity. The money had been intended to help those who are affected by poor mental health — and the IW NHS Trust were keen to ensure that it was distributed in line with this aim.

The grants have been awarded to support community-based projects aimed directly at improving local people’s wellbeing and mental health and will be delivered by local organisations and charities. In total, eighteen local applicants successfully bid for a portion of the fund, including six applicants awarded small grants of up to £2,000 and twelve projects awarded large grants of up to £20,000.

The grant fund was developed by the Mental Health Charitable Funds Group set up by the trust in collaboration with a number of local partners, including voluntary sector organisations, representatives from the IW CCG and IW Council.

Lesley Stevens, Director of Community and Mental Health & Learning Disabilities, said: 

“The pandemic has impacted us all in some way, but for some it has been especially difficult leading to loneliness, anxiety and other mental health challenges, and over the next few years we anticipate a rise in referrals to mental health services.

“While we have continued to provide vital mental health care throughout this crisis, this funding will equip and enable a number of organisations and charities to provide a wide range of mental health and wellbeing support.

“We are aware of how everyone is working in our community and voluntary sectors to provide support where it is needed, and their experience and knowledge is vital in providing local wellbeing services. This funding will strengthen what’s on offer and ensure emotional support sits at the heart of our community."

Here's a few of the successful applicants: 

  • Isle of Wight Youth Trust for their Wrap-around Youth project offering support to young people who may otherwise struggle to access services, offering a combination of one-to-one support and group and community programmes.
  • Nature Therapy CIC’s project Drum Medicine will enable several drum-based activities for various groups including inpatients at Sevenacres, people experiencing mental distress in the community. They will also provide sessions for care home, including those living with dementia or a learning disability.
  • Southern Housing Group for their HOPE (Housing Options Positive Engagement). A Mental Health Worker will work with people recovering from mental health problems, living in unsuitable accommodation, or struggling to maintain their housing. They will also facilitate HOPE Cafes, where people with poor mental health, their families and carers can meet in a friendly, relaxed venue to learn about other support organisations and take part in wellbeing activities.
  • Bodster Equine Assisted Learning’s project Horses Opening Doors will provide non-riding equine therapy and horsemanship to a variety of age groups.
  • Wight DASH - Overcoming Adverse Childhood Experiences – this charity manages the WOW Women’s Centre and provide support for people experiencing domestic abuse on the island. They will deliver ‘Rockpool Adverse Childhood Experiences Recovery Toolkit’ to three groups of men and three groups of women.
  • IOW NHS Trust – funding for three Reminiscence Interactive Therapy Activities (RITA) systems – this system provides calming activities for people with dementia and delirium. These touchscreen devices have preloaded reminiscence therapy and entertainment content and can be used as a communication aid.
  • Kae’s Trust CIC – this group raises awareness about eating disorders and their project will focus on providing eating disorders peer support for carers.

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