Mind welcomes new funding for outstanding eco projects
Posted Tuesday 24 January 2012
Mental health charity Mind welcomes the extra £2 million Big Lottery Fund (BIG) money that will be available to further support ecotherapy projects across England.
Existing projects supported through Mind’s Ecominds grants scheme, which is funded by BIG, will be able to bid for the new money, to finance work aimed at securing their long-term future.
One hundred and thirty Ecominds projects have been established since 2009, thanks to BIG funding, to deliver outdoor activity programmes across England for people with mental health problems. Mid-way evaluation of the scheme shows its clear social and economic impact - with thousands of participants reporting improved physical and mental wellbeing; hundreds moving onto further volunteering, training or paid work; and across the country, communities experiencing improved access to green spaces.
The new funding comes in response to the uncertain atmosphere of budget cuts, changes to service commissioning and increased demand for mental-health support. Against this backdrop Ecominds projects face huge challenges in sustaining their invaluable work. Projects will need to adapt the way they work and the new funding, spilt between two grant categories titled Supporting Change and Supporting Impact, are specifically designed to facilitate this work.
Supporting Change grants of £10,000 will be available to Ecominds projects in the last 18 months of their grant to cover the costs of reviewing the work of a project, sharing learning and promoting achievements so that it can become more sustainable. In addition, those projects that can also demonstrate they’ve made an outstanding difference to the lives of people most in need, and have clear plans to achieve lasting benefits, can also apply for Supporting Impact grants, offering up to a further 12 months funding.
Barry Watts, Ecominds Grants Manager, said:
This additional burst of BIG funding presents Mind and Ecominds projects with an incredible opportunity to provide long-term support for those who need it most. Ecotherapy has become a life-line for many, offering an alternative form of treatment that can be maintained for life. It is fantastic that projects can now rise to the very real challenge of uncertainty and change in service provision at large. We are excited to work with projects over the coming year as they develop to fulfill the grant objectives.
All grant applications must be received by 29 February. Grant awards will then be announced in the last week of April 2012.
Notes to editors:
- Ecominds is a funding scheme administered by the mental health charity Mind and funded by the Big Lottery Fund. It supports environmental projects that help people with experience of mental distress get involved in local green activities to improve confidence, self-esteem and physical health. A total of £7.5 million has been distributed to 130 new and existing projects across England.
- 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. www.mind.org.uk
- For more information, interviews or case studies please contact the Mind media team on T: 020 8522 1743 M: 07850 788514 E: firstname.lastname@example.org ISDN line available: 020 8221 0817
- Please note that Mind is not an acronym and should be set in title case.
Big Lottery Fund
- In 2008 BIG awarded Mind £8.8 million through its Changing Spaces programme to run the Ecominds scheme as an award partner. 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.
- 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: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk