Year 3 of the Communities Mental Health & Wellbeing Fund opens for applications in Aberdeen on Friday September 15th

15/09/2023
Shmu Wellbeing Walks at Greyhope Bay

ABERDEEN-based community groups and organisations are invited to apply for up to £15,000 to support the delivery of activities and projects that improve mental health and wellbeing in communities across our city.

ACVO TSI, Aberdeen’s Third Sector Interface, is thrilled to announce that Friday September 15th sees the launch of the third consecutive year of the Scottish Government’s Communities Mental Health & Wellbeing Fund in the Granite City.

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The Fund is dedicated to supporting grassroots projects in the local area, with the initiative having already transformed the lives of individuals within our communities by distributing over £1.2 million to 160 city-based projects during its first two years.

In April 2023, the Scottish Government reaffirmed its commitment to mental health and wellbeing by allocating an additional £15 million across Scotland to the fund. This significant investment aligns with the ScotGov Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy published in June 2023, emphasising the importance of supporting impactful community-based initiatives.

A total of £1,341,000 from the Fund has already been distributed by ACVO TSI during 2021 and 2022 to support 168 projects and activities across Aberdeen City. ACVO is once again delighted to manage the distribution of the £567,000 made available to city groups this year, with the fund officially opening for applications on Friday, September 15th.

Previous recipients of the fund include Greyhope Bay for their ‘Clean Beach, Happy People’ project which invited local residents to help care for the coasts around Aberdeen; Street Soccer Scotland’s ‘Football for Mental Health’ initiative; and The Allotment Market Stall’s ‘Growing Healthy Project’ which saw the creation of a vegetable plot run by volunteers on disused land at Grove Nursery in Hazlehead.

Claire Shaw, Funding Officer at ACVO, said:

“ACVO is delighted to be managing the distribution of the Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government for a third year. The Fund has supported so many innovative projects over the last two years that have improved the mental health and wellbeing of communities across the City. We would encourage organisations who may have an eligible project not to delay in applying and to please get in touch if they need help with the application process.”

This third year of the Fund offers two levels of grants; Level 1, available to both constituted and unconstituted have seen the maximum available to apply for increased to £3,000, while Level 2, for constituted organisations only, now range from £3,001 to £15,000. 

Previous experience has shown that funds are distributed quickly, so early application is strongly recommended.

The Communities Mental Health & Wellbeing Fund’s ambition is to support mental health and wellbeing initiatives at the grassroots level, welcoming applications from all organisations operating in Aberdeen who work with the adult population (aged 16 or over), regardless of size or experience. While national organisations are eligible, the focus remains on nurturing local initiatives.

**Fund Outcomes, Aims, and Priorities (Defined by the Scottish Government)**

The overarching aim of the Fund is to promote and develop good mental health and wellbeing while mitigating the impact of distress and mental ill health within the adult population (aged 16 or over) with a particular focus on prevention and early intervention. Key priorities include:

1. Addressing mental health inequalities within ‘at risk’ groups.

2. Tackling social isolation, loneliness, suicide prevention, and poverty and inequality, with a focus on responding to the cost-of-living crisis.

3. Supporting small grassroots community groups and organisations in delivering activities.

4. Fostering connections, building trusted relationships, and revitalising communities.

This initiative aligns directly with Outcome 4 of the Scottish Government’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy published in June 2023, aiming to “better equip communities to support people’s mental health and wellbeing and provide opportunities to connect with others.”

Interested groups can visit https://acvo.org.uk/cmhwfund/ for more information about the fund and to submit applications online. Members of the ACVO team are on hand to offer help and advice about the process and project eligibility so welcome those within the Aberdeen area thinking about applying to the Fund to get in touch if they have any questions.

The team at ACVO look forward to receiving applications once again for innovative and impactful local projects and to see the positive difference the Communities Mental Health & Wellbeing Fund continues to make to the lives of those living with our city’s communities. 

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