A new fund looking to tackle mental health inequalities has launched in Orkney


A total of £75,197 is to be distributed to local third sector organisations and voluntary groups in Orkney to help address mental health inequalities.

Grassroots community groups, social enterprises and third sector organisations will be able to benefit from the Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund, which launched locally on Tuesday 23rd November.

The new Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund, announced last month, aims to support adult community-based initiatives to help address the impact of distress and mental ill health caused by social isolation and loneliness, as well as addressing the mental health inequalities exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Locally, Voluntary Action Orkney is working with The Orkney Partnership and the Integration Joint Board, to help distribute the funds.

The funding is provided by the Scottish Government as part of a wider £15 million programme for Covid-19 recovery, aimed at adult-focused community-based initiatives.

Earlier this year, Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) were recognised for their work in distributing funds through the pandemic with close relationships in communities in what was a first-of-its-kind scheme. Building on this work, TSIs are delivering the fund locally across Scotland, with some forming steering groups to develop priorities and guidance that reflects the needs of their respective areas.

Gail Anderson, Chief Executive of Voluntary Action Orkney commented“We are delighted to work with national and local partners to promote and distribute this funding. The restrictions imposed by Covid-19 have had and continue to have a significant impact on individuals and communities. The Fund provides an opportunity for us all to work together and to build on the excellent work done throughout the pandemic to help improve mental health and wellbeing amongst the adult population in Orkney.”

Two grant streams are available, a small grants, fast-track rolling programme will provide grants up to £2,500, with applications able to be submitted at any time up until 9am on Monday 14 February 2022. For grants up to £10,000 there is a application deadline of 9am on Monday 17 January 2022.

VAO will support any organisation with the development of their application and in delivery of their project, if organisations want help or advice.

It is hoped it will be a recurring fund next year and applications are sought to address a number of needs. These include, social isolation and loneliness, suicide prevention, access to physical activity as well as diet and nutrition.
An online information session for interested organisations about the Fund is being held at 6.30pm on Thursday 9 December.

View and download the application pack by clicking on the links below:

Join us for an online Information Session at 6:30pm on Thursday 9th December 2021. Contact Clare Gee, Community Development Worker at clare.gee@vaorkney.org.uk or phone 01856 872897 to book your place or for further information.


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