The Side by Side fund was a project distributing funds to peer support, mutual aid and self-help groups benefiting people and communities who live with mental ill-health, trauma and distress in England and Wales.
As a large, national organisation, Mind often finds reaching a broad range of grassroots community groups difficult. By working in partnership with NSUN, Mind was able to help get funds to those groups who need the most support.
Reports from the groups identified several key findings:
Many different groups, each with specific aims and goals, were awarded funds. However, many groups reported the following outcomes:
You can read more about the impact of the fund on specific organisations in the case studies below.
Downham Dementia Café works to support people diagnosed with dementia and their caregivers in the small Norfolk town of Downham. They used the funds to pay for tea parties and lunches for members.
The café's Jacqueline Westrop spoke to NSUN about the impact of the fund.Read more
Hong King Adoptees Network brings together people adopted from Hong Kong between 1960 and 1969. They used the funds to fund a Zoom subscription and in-person room hire.
Debbie Cook told NSUN how the fund helped their members.
Sangini is a Black and minority ethnic led women’s organisation based in Tyne and Wear. The group uses arts, crafts, heritage and social activities to raise awareness about health and wellbeing, using their money for a Zoom subscription and an engagement worker.
Padma Rao told NSUN how the fund helped their members.
Youth Ngage is a user-led organisation that provides positive activities and empowerment programs for youth and young people from racialised communities in the North Kent area. Most of the young people involved in the programme are Afro-Caribbean. They used their money on a laptop to continue online activities.
Some of the young people involved in the project – Fay, Bobby, Brooklyn, and Victoria – spoke to NSUN about how the fund helped them.
Following the success of the grant programme, NSUN and The Fore launched a survey about the funding needs of grassroots, user-led community groups and organisations that support the mental health of their communities.