Funding boost for mental health and well-being charities

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There was good news for charities, voluntary organisations and community groups this week as a further £411,000 of funding was released as part of the Third Sector Interface-managed Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund.

This was initially established with £15 million allocated by the Scottish Government to support mental health and well-being in communities across Scotland.

The Argyll and Bute Third Sector Interface (ABTSI) opened applications to the fund in November with the initial level of funding being £285,000. The fund was inundated with applications from across the county.

Takki Sulaiman, chief executive officer of ABTSI, said: ‘There was a fantastic response from local groups with the fund nearly three times oversubscribed.

‘In a new way of working, the TSI team directly supported groups to produce the best possible applications so when we were asked by the Scottish Government could we use more funding for good quality services we were able to say yes as almost all applicants had reached a high standard.

‘We look forward to ensuring the funds are put to good use for vulnerable people in our communities as soon as possible.’

The decision panel, made up of local stakeholders, partners and a person with mental health lived experience, had a tough job to identify how funding was allocated across the applicants.

The Scottish Government took into account the level of high-quality applications and provided the extra funding, which allows 48 of the organisations who met the quality threshold to be fully funded for their projects.

The Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund is part of the wider £120 million Recovery and Renewal Fund announced in February 2021 to ensure delivery of the commitments set out in the Mental Health Transition and Recovery Plan in response to the mental health need arising from the pandemic.

Funds will be released in the coming weeks.