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NHS activity grants to boost mental health in Gateshead

Community organisations in Gateshead can help the to improve people’s mental health, with the return of a popular NHS grants scheme in the area this month.

The programme – which supported activities ranging from community gardening projects and creative art to healthy walking initiatives – aims to support smaller local projects to help people stay well, especially where they can help to provide longer term support.

The aim is to support community-based initiatives that promote and develop good mental health and wellbeing, or help people deal with, or avoid, the distress of mental ill health. Individual grants of up to £10,000 are available to support work with children, young people and adults.

Lynn Wilson, Director of Gateshead Place at NHS North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board, said: "Since the pandemic, many more of us have been feeling the need for support. We have first class mental health services in our area, but community-based projects can provide something different and hugely valuable.

"It's all about providing the activities that bring us together, boost our mood and help us to improve our mental health. That could mean learning new skills or taking part in group activities like sport, art, cooking or gardening.

"Sometimes just getting out of the house, meeting people and having a purpose can be better than that prescription from the doctor. A lot of voluntary and community groups are out there making a real difference in our communities, and this is a great chance to build on the fantastic contribution they make."

Last year's scheme provided grants totalling £150,000 to projects run by a range of groups including Gem Arts' Feel Good Group, Gateshead Older People's Assembly, the Methodist Homes Association, Atypical Support, the Young Women's Outreach Project and the Comfrey Project.

Full details of the eligibility criteria, and an application form are available online. Applications must be received by 5pm on Friday 3 March. To find out more or of you have questions, please contact gail.ballance1@nhs.net.

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