8 February 2017
The Leeds Fund, which provides a unique opportunity for people to give back and invest in the city, has received a massive funding boost.Asda Foundation has given a total of £380,000 to support innovative mental health projects, identified by Leeds Community Foundation (LCF), which set up The Leeds Fund to distribute grants to help address the city’s greatest areas of need.
The Leeds Fund supported six initiatives at the end of last year but due limited funding was unable to support all of the excellent mental health community projects that had been shortlisted.
Thanks to funding from Asda Foundation, a further 16 projects across the city have also received money to support people living with mental health issues. All of the funded projects have been developed by people with lived experience of mental health issues and the community groups that work with them, meaning they are tailored directly to the needs of local people and can make the greatest impact.
The Market Place is an example of just one of the groups which received funding towards HYPE (Helping Young People through Experience) voice and influence group for young people aged between 11 and 25 who are experiencing suicidal thoughts, harassment, bullying or isolation. Funding for other successful projects will both create new services and develop current ones through a range of community organisations, such as:
- Black Health Initiative will provide a counselling service which understands the cultural issues and stigmas affecting visible minority groups, tackling specific issues associated with these communities.
- Carers Leeds will recruit volunteers who have had experience of being a carer and the mental health issues this creates, to support other carers through regular home visits, Skype and telephone contact.
- DIAL Leeds will deliver a user led support service alongside holistic advice for Leeds West Foodbank clients who are experiencing mental health difficulties and distress.
- Oblong will create three ongoing peer support groups - three ‘recovery communities’ that will lead people to long-term, sustained recovery and resilience.
- Otley Action for Older People will continue to support older people in Otley by offering group based training and group support services to identify anxiety and depression and provide self-help tools.
All 22 of the supported Leeds Fund mental health projects came together to attend a launch event yesterday (7th February) at the St George’s Centre to celebrate The Leeds Fund, share best practice to ensure that tangible outcomes around mental health and future learning can be gathered from these projects.
John Cookman, Deputy Chair of Asda Foundation, said: “We share in LCF’s mission of creating positive change in local communities. When we heard that The Leeds Fund had been overwhelmed by applications from community projects needing support to deliver mental health support services, we wanted to help more projects receive the funding they need. It has been great to meet with the groups and hear more about the fantastic work they are doing to support local people. We look forward to seeing the outcomes of these projects and are delighted we have been able to help.”
Sally-Anne Greenfield, CEO of LCF, said: “The Leeds Fund is committed to raising awareness and money to support community projects across Leeds that provide vital services to local people living with mental health issues. Thanks to Asda Foundation’s generous donation, we have been able to award large grants of up to £25,000 to even more projects. We are truly grateful for their help and hope their generosity will inspire other companies to get involved with The Leeds Fund to ensure community based projects continue to make a real difference to people’s lives in Leeds.”
The Leeds Fund, which is supported by Leeds born TV personality Patron, Gabby Logan, was launched in June 2016. The Fund’s strategic focus is mental health, but it also supports a range of other areas of need which affect the city. For more details on how to support The Leeds Fund or apply for future funding, visit: www.theleedsfund.org.uk