Ten community and voluntary groups have been awarded grants totalling £169,686 to support and help adults with mental health issues across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

The awards have been made as part of the Community Mental Health Transformation Programme in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent to enable adults with severe mental illness to access care and support in a new, more joined up and effective way, regardless of their diagnosis or level of complexity.

The grant scheme is being managed by The Community Foundation for Staffordshire on behalf of North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust (NSCHT) and Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT).

The recipients of round one of the grants are:

North Staffordshire

  • Veteran Support Network CIC - ‘Veteran Art Recovery’ will provide essential equipment, wellbeing sessions, tutor-led training and art recovery sessions, as well as a community allotment linked to the programme.
  • British Ceramics Biennial – ‘The Recast Programme’ comprises a series of clay workshop sessions led by specially trained artists, where those in addiction recovery can make creative projects in clay.
  • Walk Ministries – Funding to provide a support worker to support newly released prisoners.
  • Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffs Theatre Trust Ltd – 30-week, expert citizen co-designed theatre programme.
  • Restoration Shack – Funding to provide two part-time members of staff to deliver activities such as restoration, upcycling, furniture making, etc.
  • The Grange Fishing Club – provision to purchase a ‘talking’ hub/cabin in Dingle Park.

Southern Staffordshire

  • Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles – cycling-baseded rehabilitation programme for people who have suffered with addiction.
  • Staffordshire Network for Mental Health – ‘Toolbox for the Services’, a project to support ex-servicevice personnel to improve their mental health, and to reduce isolation and loneliness.
  • Cherishers 811 CIC – To provide support services over a six-month period, including access to art, green and talking therapy plus lunch clubs.
  • Princess Street Training and Enterprise Centre – Funding for a variety of sessions, including healthy cooking and healthy minds sessions, as well as key/support worker resource.

Liz Mellor, Director of Strategy and Partnerships, North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “With over £96,000 awarded in grants to six Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE)  organisations in North Staffordshire, adult mental health initiatives will be further supported directly in the community for the benefit of our local population.  

“With visits to our grant recipients having taken place in recent weeks, we’re excited by the innovation and community benefits they will bring.  Our ongoing grant programme will give us even more chance to join up with local organisations and support the delivery of inclusive, accessible and responsive services to support adults with severe mental illness.” 

Lisa Agell-Argiles, MPFT Director for Unplanned Care and Mental Health said: “The voluntary and community organisations who have been awarded this funding in the south of Staffordshire will be able to support adults with severe mental illness, in a way that suits an individual’s needs. They will be able to address the wider determinants that impact mental wellbeing, making a positive impact on the lives of local people.”

Steve Adams, Chief Executive of The Community Foundation said: “We are delighted to be working with North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust and Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to target and help adults across the county.  Voluntary and community organisations are fantastic at engaging with those usually hard-to-reach people, and it’s wonderful to see that reach utilised.”

A VCSE grant round engagement session, giving important updates and information on further grant rounds in this programme, will take place online from 11 am – 12 pm on Wednesday 11 January 2023. Registrations for this free session are available here.

The Community Mental Health Transformation Programme, taking place across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, supports the priorities set out within the NHS Long Term Plan  A new model of community-based mental health care is seeing mental health NHS trusts working with GPs, NHS commissioners, local authorities and voluntary and community organisations – alongside people with lived experience, their families and carers.

It is about offering flexible and personalised care and support that responds to an individual’s mental health needs and preferences close to home; while also increasing support for the wider factors that can impact wellbeing, such as employment, housing and physical health.

Click here to find out more about the Community Mental Health Transformation Programme