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In the last couple of years, mental health – the issues that people face and the sources of support which exist – has moved centre stage.

At Kent Community Foundation, although we do not have a fund specifically focussing on mental health, we regularly support projects working to improve the mental health of both children/young people and adults through our Vulnerable Adults themed fund and our Children, Young People & Families themed fund.

Strong mental-health and well-being is a lynchpin of much of the work that our grants facilitate. Between one quarter and one fifth of everything funded under our Children, Young People & Families theme in the last couple of years has had improved mental health as its key outcome.

Millmead Children’s Centre Partnership in Margate is a robust voluntary sector organisation doing great work in this arena. KCF has supported their young people’s group (Fusion), which focuses on four main strands:

Staying Safe : discussions and specialist input into preventing harmful behaviours where it is age appropriate including, smoking drug/alcohol abuse, unprotected sexual activity, gang and knife crime, anti-social activity, bullying and e-safety

Staying Healthy: changing habits and lifestyles to maximise health e.g. exercise, food preparation, dental health, accessing specialist services, budgeting for healthy eating, making healthy choices.

Mental Health: addressing issues of social isolation, eating disorders, self-harm/depression and increasing wellbeing. Supported access to specialist services.

Building Confidence and Resilience: confidence through activities focussed on increasing value for education, improving literacy and numeracy, timekeeping and employer expectations, expanding horizons and accepting diversity together with expectations that are realistic and coping with adversity.

If you are doing work which touches on any of these areas, consider an application under our Children, Young People & Families theme – current deadline is 31st August. If you do similar work with adults, apply under Vulnerable Adults.

What to include in your application:

“Improving mental health” or “enhancing well-being” can be a bit woolly in an application. Be clear about the focus of your specific intervention, as Millmead Children’s Centre Partnership has above.

Think about how you will monitor the impact of your work. For this kind of activity, a short video piece to camera from a beneficiary, or a beneficiary’s family member, can be much more powerful than yet another written report. If you’d like to show impact in this way, talk to us before you submit your application.

Finally, do be creative and try new approaches, but if you have evidence that your intervention has worked well over a period of time, then requesting funding to continue an established project is fine and be sure to tell us about your successful track record in your application.

For more advice please call our Grants Team on 01303 814 500. 

MASSIVE 'thank you ' to everyone at Kent Community Foundation. Your funding support is HUGELY appreciated and has enabled us to get into the heart of local communities with REAL, affordable, healthy and tasty food that does so much more than feed people.

Community chef Mike Spackman, Sheppey Matters

KCF's enthusiasm for what we are doing and hoping to do, coupled with helpful advice, gave us the confidence to take this daunting step which has paid off.

Liz Turner, Octopus Foundation

It's great having a foundation that empowers organisations and charities in our community to make real positive differences and changes!

Tom, MMK Mind
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