Welcome to the summer Ecominds update
Bill Oddie dropped in on one of our Ecominds projects in July to find out how ecotherapy is helping to boost mental health, find out more below.
Funding boost for Ecominds projects
In May, Mind announced that 87 Ecominds projects had made successful bids for sustainability funding. The grants were made available by Big Lottery Fund (BIG) to help existing Ecominds projects become more sustainable as they adapt to current economic challenges.
In addition, 28 of these projects also received one year’s continuation funding in recognition of the significant impact of their initial Ecominds’ grants. Mind awarded the new money after a competitive funding round which was heavily oversubscribed. An independent grants panel distributed a total of £825,800 as supporting change grants, while £1.065m was made available as supporting impact grants.
Ecominds projects make connections at London event
Over 100 delegates attended Making Connections, a networking event for Ecominds projects in May. The day focused on how projects can make the most of new sustainability money from BIG with keynote speeches from Paul Farmer, Mind CEO and BIG’s Elaine Warner. Projects also learnt how to make the most of new health commissioning arrangements thanks to Beren Aldridge (Growing Well) and Mind’s Rezina Hakim. Check out the film, photo gallery and presentations online.
Has Mind changed your life? Or even saved your life? If so, we'd love to hear about it?
You may be one of the 250,000 people that our local Minds help through services like counselling, advice or supported housing. You might be taking part in one of our Ecominds projects. Or you might have called the Mind Infoline or Legal line for information and support.
If you think your experience with Mind has changed or saved your life, we’d love to hear from you by Friday 17 August. Your story may inspire others to get in touch and seek help.
It will also help us to explain to our supporters why Mind’s work is so important so we can continue to support anyone with a mental health problem. Please email 100 words explaining how we helped you, along with a phone number so we can call you back next week. Your details will be kept confidential.
London: Bill Oddie checks out an Ecominds session
Bill Oddie, the former Goodie with a track record as a nature broadcaster and birdwatcher, joined Mind staff to visit an east London Ecominds project.
Grounded Ecotherapy works with homeless people who have mental health problems and histories of drug and alcohol addiction in east London and have regular ecotherapy sessions at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, which is now a thriving nature reserve.
Bill was treated to a tour of the cemetery by enthusiastic volunteers to see how neglected undergrowth is being transformed into wildflower meadows and woodland habitats that support a variety of fauna once common to the area.
West Sussex: Parks and Minds secure council contract
One of our south coast Ecominds projects has secured a further contract from the borough council to provide gardening services. Worthing and Arun Mind secured a five-year agreement that ensures that their Parks and Minds project can continue to offer volunteering opportunities.
Hampshire: local recognition for Minding the Garden
Well done to Hart District's Minding the Garden who have demonstrated their importance to local people by being chosen as Charity of the Year by the Chairman of Hart District Council; and then being selected by Sainsbury’s in Fleet as their Local Community Charity.
Nottinghamshire: Idle Valley recruiting new Ecominds staff
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is seeking new staff for its Ecominds-funded project at Idle Valley Nature Reserve. They are recruiting for two part time positions: Ecominds Activity Leader and Promotion Officer. Check out their website to see these opportunities and more.
Kent: Let's Grow photo exhibition
An exhibition of photos taken by members of Folkestone and District Mind’s Let’s Grow project is open until 28 August. The exhibition is open everyday except Wednesdays at the Romney Marsh Visitor Centre, Dymchurch Road, Romney Marsh, Kent TN28 8AY.
Devon: Spring to Life NVQs for young people
Ten young people have just completed a youth programme with Spring To Life in Totnes. The young people were awarded an NVQ Level one qualification in woodland management and teamwork at the Ecominds project run by the Sharpham Trust.
Could you apply for a Time to Change grant?
Time to Change has opened its grants fund for a second round of applications. The programme will fund projects that challenge the stigma of mental health problems by getting communities involved in meaningful conversations about mental health.
To be eligible, projects need to involve people with first-hand experience of mental health problems in their planning, development and delivery and development. Funds will also be awarded to projects working with black and minority ethnic communities, and those working with children and young people.
Time to Change recently announced successful projects from the last round. For an idea of what kind of work they’re currently funding, and information about how your organisation can apply for a grant, visit the Time to Change website.
The deadline for applications is 2pm on 21 September.
Comic Relief Local Communities programme
A second phase of the Local Communities programme has £45 million of Comic Relief money to fund projects across the UK that address deprivation. It will give grants between £100 and £10,000, and will run for two years. The programme aims to empower local people, and should be run by people directly affected by the issues they are dealing with.
New funding to tackle multiple and complex needs
BIG has launched the new funding scheme for partnership-led approaches to delivering services for people with multiple and complex needs in 15 priority areas. The scheme’s focus is on people experiencing at least two of the following: mental ill health, substance misuse, homelessness and reoffending. BIG expects each partnership to be Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) led, include statutory representation and genuinely involve those in need in the design and delivery of projects.
Find your nearest Ecominds project with our map
If you want to see for yourself what happens at an Ecominds session you can use our interactive map to find a project near you.
Measuring well-being: a guide for practitioners
nef (new economics foundation) has produced a free handbook on measuring well-being. It’s designed for voluntary organisations and community groups delivering projects and services, to help them kick-start the process of measuring well-being outcomes.
Project Dirt, a social network for green projects
Are you keen to form links with green groups or individuals online? If yes, Project Dirt might be the answer. Currently restricted to London and Liverpool, the growing online communities are helping local green organisations and individuals to connect and “make things happen”.
Other green news
Gardening Against the Odds: 2012 awards
The Telegraph has teamed up with The Conservation Foundation for it annual awards that celebrate those who battle physical or environmental odds to create public, communal or private green spaces that inspire.
Any news to share?
If you have any news to share with the Ecominds network in these pages, please email your submissions to Ken Ryan, Senior Communications Officer for Ecominds scheme.