£1 million given to a 'Load Of Old Rubbish' ... and other eco projects
Posted Wednesday 18 March 2009
Over £1 million has been awarded today to nine eco-projects throughout England from new grants scheme Ecominds . They are the first of 125 projects set to benefit from £7.5 million funding over the next 5 years, as leading mental health charity Mind continues to set the green agenda for mental health .
The generous donations will fund projects that involve people with experience of mental distress in improving local environments. Grants of up to £250,000 are available from Ecominds [ --link-- ], a scheme delivered by Mind with £7.5m of funding from the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces programme. Groups and organisations are urged to apply, whether it be for a recycling initiative, or to turn disused land into a public garden. The next grants panel takes place later this year.
One of the successful 9 projects is ‘Load of Old Rubbish’, which will fund trainees from Finchale Training College (Durham), many of whom experience mental distress, to produce a recycling-themed garden for the 2009 Royal Horticultural Society Tatton Park Flower Show. This initiative will receive £13,000.
Nearly £150,000 is going to a conservation project at the Wildwood Trust in Kent. Mental health service users will tend rare species and animals to create a woodland area for public education and enjoyment. Other initiatives receiving a vital cash boost include organic growing enterprises, community and therapeutic garden projects, a nature reserve and allotment sites.
Ecotherapy is proven to be highly beneficial to people with mental health problems. A recent study by Mind showed that after a 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 huge stigma still surrounds mental health. By improving local environments, Ecominds hopes to promote the inclusion of people with mental health problems in their communities through social contact.
Barry Watts, Grants Manager of Ecominds said “It’s great to finally see the funding reach these worthwhile projects after everyone’s hard work. We are sure that each will directly benefit the future of people with mental health problems, teaching skills and providing a vital support network. We have so much to look forward to now, as we watch these projects progress and begin to receive the next round of applications- keep them coming!”
Ecominds is a funding scheme administered by the mental health charity Mind on behalf of the Big Lottery Fund. Any group or organisation based in England and working on a not-for-profit basis can apply. To request an application pack or to find out more telephone 0845 367 1671, visit the website at www.ecominds.org.uk or write to Ecominds, 15-19 Broadway, Stratford, London E15 4BQ.
- Total allocation £1,047,352
- In 2007 Mind launched the Ecotherapy report [ --link-- ] for its annual Mind week. The campaign called for ecotherapy to be recognised as a clinically valid treatment for mental distress.
Notes to editors
- Ecominds is a new funding scheme administered by the mental health charity Mind. For more information about Ecominds or Mind please contact the Mind press office on
T: 020 8522 1743
M: 07850 788514
ISDN line available: 020 8221 0817.
- Mind is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. We work to create a better life for everyone with experience of mental distress.
- Please note that Mind is not an acronym and should be set in title case.
- 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.
- Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888 Out of hours: 07867 500 572
Public enquiries line: 08454 102030
Textphone: 08456 021 659
Full details of the work of the Big Lottery Fund, its programmes and awards are available on the website: http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk