Warwickshire County Council’s COVID-19 Mental Wellbeing and Resilience Fund has awarded £750k to support local community groups and businesses to develop sustainable and innovative ...
Warwickshire County Council’s COVID-19 Mental Wellbeing and Resilience Fund has awarded £750k to support local community groups and businesses to develop sustainable and innovative solutions to help improve the mental health, wellbeing and resilience of the local community and workforce both during and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following a round of bidding earlier this year, the council is pleased to announce that 36 local projects have been successful in receiving funding for their proposals to support people's wellbeing.
The successful projects will cover the breadth of Warwickshire with community and voluntary organisations and businesses within all five of the districts and boroughs receiving a share of the one-off fund. Grants awarded range in amount from £6,000 up to the maximum amount available of £50,000, with some projects designed to deliver countywide support, while others will focus on providing support that will directly benefit residents in the localities.
Cllr Margaret Bell, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health said: “So many lives have been disrupted by the pandemic and relationships and mental health have been profoundly impacted. The council is committed to helping people to be as safe, healthy and independent as possible. Encouraging people to look after their mental health and build resilience is key to this – now, more than ever.
“The Warwickshire Mental Health and Wellbeing Resilience Fund was developed to enable local groups to find and implement their own solutions to support members of their community or workplace. It is fantastic that we have received so many bids that demonstrate not only sustainable initiatives, but also such a strong sense of community spirit and commitment to improving the mental health and wellbeing of people living and working in Warwickshire.”
The successful bids offer a diverse selection of projects spanning across all ages and offering wide-reaching benefits. Some will look to enhance buildings or outdoor areas to provide wellbeing spaces for reflection or time out when things are getting too much. Projects that will use capital funding to create or adapt spaces include the creation of an outdoor community area with disabled access and ‘friendship benches’, office improvements to create a ‘haven’ for staff, an edible Forest Garden with off-grid and accessible facilities including a compostable toilet in a converted ships cabin and the refurbishment of an existing café into a community hub.
Other projects are more focused around providing support for children, young people and families and include support for young people dealing with bereavement, mentoring to improve low self-esteem for girls aged 11-18 and support for those who are self-harming or thinking of doing so.
A wealth of projects will aim to enhance the mental wellbeing and resilience of Warwickshire’s adult population, as well as help to tackle those struggling with loneliness and social isolation. These include a Warwickshire Long COVID support group, a multimedia van to deliver creative workshops across Warwickshire, building capacity within the voluntary and education sector and local businesses to raise awareness and provide training on suicide prevention and a sporting memories club providing older people suffering from loneliness, depression and dementia the chance to connect.
Small to medium businesses have been encouraged by this fund to look at ways to enhance workplace wellbeing and a number of the successful projects have developed plans that will seek to do this, including corporate wellness workshops, creating a designated area for wellbeing breaks, professional support for mental and physical wellbeing from a qualified counsellor and personal trainer and creating a canal-side nature oasis to be used as a break-out area.
A full list of the successful bids and further information about each project can be found online at https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/covidresiliencefund.
Cllr Margaret Bell added:
“By funding these projects, I hope we will see an overall improvement to people’s wellbeing in Warwickshire, not just in the aftermath of Covid-19 but in their wellbeing for life. It would be wonderful to see others being inspired by these ideas too and making a commitment to do more to offer support, whether that be in the workplace or in their local community – mental health problems really can affect anyone and we can all play a part in taking steps to proactively look after our own and others’ wellbeing.
“I would encourage anyone who may have a pre-existing mental health diagnosis, a recent mental health diagnosis brought about due to pressures of living through the pandemic, or anyone who is just struggling to cope at the moment, to visit our webpages to find out what support is available in their local area and to take the opportunity to get involved in the activities or support on offer.”
“On behalf of all of Warwickshire, I would like to thank all those who have taken the time to apply for funding and congratulate those who have been successful. I am looking forward to seeing all these fantastic and innovative ideas come to life over the coming months.”
Further advice, guidance and support for mental health and wellbeing in Warwickshire can be found at https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/mentalhealth