Calling all conservationists and community champions!
Funding is now available to residents who wish to run community projects, but hurry as there are less than 40 days left to apply and competition is tight.
Grants scheme Ecominds is offering up to £20,000 to help fund initiatives that improve the local environment and involve people with mental health problems.
Run by Mind, the scheme is helping thousands of people to improve their mental wellbeing by encouraging them to get active outdoors and invest in their local community. With £1million of funding still available, over 50 projects are set to benefit from a huge cash boost.
Perhaps a resident might wish to set up a rambling group, start a recycling scheme to collect and revamp neighbours’ old goods, or turn the local dumping ground into a community garden for everyone to enjoy. The Ecominds scheme, funded by Big Lottery Fund's Changing Spaces programme, can make this possible.
Examples of projects that could be applicable for funding include:
- Clearing open spaces for community use.
- Graffiti removal projects.
- Creating or renovating urban green areas.
- Installing signposts to encourage community environmental awareness (such as clear signs in the countryside for ramblers).
- Recycling projects, such as furniture, glass, and white goods (for example, reclaiming discarded furniture and doing it up to sell).
- Community agricultural projects linking gardeners and producers with local selling opportunities.
- Producing artwork in public places (for example mosaics in parks and sculpture in hospitals).
Barry Watts, Grants Manager of Ecominds said :
"Money doesn’t grow on trees, but should you wish to grow a tree with local residents for your community to enjoy, then the money could be yours. All you need to do to apply is fill in and return our application form, but do think carefully as there will be competition for the final grants."
The closing date for small bids (up to £20,000) is Friday 30 April 2010. 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, visit the Ecominds pages on this site, telephone 0845 367 1671 or write to Ecominds, 15-19 Broadway, Stratford, London E15 4BQ.
Finchdale Training College
A small grant of £13K was given to Durham-based Finchale Training College. This gave them money for a group of their students, many of whom experience mental distress, to create a conservation themed garden. The garden was entered into the 2009 Gateshead Summer Flower Show, where they won Best in Show.
Dr David Etheridge, College Principle, said:
"This project was very important to the college, and served to develop the confidence of our trainees. The pride and sense of achievement for those involved can transform their lives."
Read more about Ecominds and ecotherapy.