£13K cheque given to Durham Ecominds project
Posted Monday 8 June 2009
Local Durham charity Finchale Training College was today handed a giant cheque of £13,250 from grants scheme Ecominds in presence of City of Durham MP Roberta Blackman-Woods. Funded by the Big Lottery Fund, the award will give trainees from the college, many of whom experience mental distress, the opportunity to enter a conservation themed garden into the 2009 RHS Tatton Park Flower Show.
The project is one of nine projects throughout the country that received over £1 million of Ecominds funding in the first round of grant allocations. With a total of £7.5 million of funding available, over 100 projects that involve people with mental health problems in improving their local environments are still set to benefit.
Helping thousands of people across the country to improve their mental wellbeing, the Ecominds scheme provides the opportunity to get outdoors and get active. In a recent Mind study, after just one country walk 90 per cent of participants had increased self-esteem and 71 per cent reported decreased feelings of depression.
1 in 4 people experience mental distress yet still widespread stigma is attached to mental health. Ecominds promotes the inclusion of people with mental health problems in their communities through social contact. 'Load of Old Rubbish' will help to give people with mental health problems a rewarding project to work on, providing support and social skills while developing skills for future employment.
Overjoyed to receive the cheque, Dr David Etheridge, College Principle at Finchale Training College, said: "This project is very important to the college, and serves to develop the confidence of our trainees. The pride and sense of achievement for those involved can transform their lives."
City of Durham MP Roberta Blackman-Woods said: "I am delighted to be here to see the cheque be presented. I am always really impressed by the college, the skills that they give people are second to none. I hope that this award from Ecominds helps the college to continue its provision of skills and work opportunities."
The Ecominds scheme is run by Mind and funded by the Big Lottery Fund's Changing Spaces programme. Any group or organisation based in England and working on a not-for-profit basis can apply for an Ecominds grant of up to £150,000. Small grant applications of up to £20,000 are particularly encouraged.
Notes to editors
- Ecominds is a new funding scheme administered by the mental health charity Mind. It has a total of £7.5million to distribute to new and existing projects until 2012.
- The Big Lottery Fund's Changing Spaces programme was launched in November 2005 to help communities enjoy and improve their local environments. The programme is funding a range of activities from local food schemes and farmers markets, to education projects teaching people about the environment. Mind was appointed as a Changing Spaces award partner, responsible for distributing £7.5 million through its Ecominds scheme.
- The Big Lottery Fund, the largest of the National Lottery good cause distributors, has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since its inception in June 2004. It was established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
Full details of the work of the Big Lottery Fund, its programmes and awards are available on the website: http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk