Mental health projects receive over £234,000 in the first wave of Brighter Lives grants

People working at YMCA desk

Mental health projects receive over £234,000 in the first wave of Brighter Lives grants

Published: 18 May 2022
Churches and charities across the UK and Ireland have responded to our call to deliver projects supporting mental health in the church and wider community. With applications still open, we’re delighted to award the first round of grants under our new Brighter Lives programme.
The projects benefitting will all play a key role in responding to the long-term impact of Covid-19 on people’s mental health, through greater training, resources and support.
The Brighter Lives programme covers three main project areas:
• Supporting existing or emerging specialist services provided by churches and Christian charities for people struggling with mental health issues. 
• Enabling Christian organisations to train, equip and resource other churches and Christian charities to provide:
– Enhanced mental health awareness and/or mental health first aid
– Appropriate mental health and wellbeing support groups and services
– Services provided should demonstrate reach/impact across a local area, regionally or nationally
• Programmes to support the personal mental health and wellbeing of clergy and other church leaders/workers who may be suffering, particularly post-pandemic.
While we continue to assess applications, we’re excited to share some of the first projects hoping to make a positive difference in their communities…
YMCA England and Wales 
 £20,000 from the Trust’s Brighter Lives programme will enable YMCA to equip its chaplains to deliver improved mental health support across the network of 31 YMCAs. Currently there is no programme available that fulfils this need or speaks to a YMCA context. Particularly staff in a housing context working with people with extremely complex needs, they would benefit dramatically from further training in a range of mental health issues.
Youthscape, Luton
£30,000 from the Brighter Lives Grants Programme will help further develop Youthscape’s innovative online platform, Headstrong – a resource that launched during the Covid-19 pandemic with the support of our Hope Beyond funding. Headstrong has been designed to support young people’s emotional and mental health needs via the biggest social platforms and helps youth leaders to support young people’s mental wellbeing in church contexts. Brighter Lives funding will support a new online mental health hub for youth workers; an email advice service for youth workers; and an expansion of the team and resources available.
The Diocese of St Asaph, Clwyd, Wales
£5,000 Brighter Lives funding will train two new member of staff to deliver mental health first aid training to clergy and laity across The Diocese of St Asaph. One staff member will focus on adult mental health and the other will focus on youth mental health. The training will help the diocese to understand and respond better to mental health issues in both the church and the wider community. 
Association of Christian Counsellors, Coventry
Association of Christian Counsellors (ACC) has 30 years’ experience in mental health and wellbeing. With the support of £30,000 Brighter Lives funding, ACC will set up a three-stranded project seeking to support the church to build its pastoral care and outreach in relation to mental health. The first strand will focus on the education and training of pastoral carers; the second strand will focus on support groups for pastoral workers involved in outreach; and the third strand will extend a free national counselling service to those working in ministry.
Together Middlesbrough and Cleveland
 £50,000 from our Brighter Lives mental health grants programme will help Together Middlesbrough and Cleveland to reach out to more than 600 church workers, clergy, volunteers and staff from Christian organisations in the country’s most disadvantaged areas. The charity will offer them training to support their own mental health and the urgent need for support within their communities.
Group of people wearing masks in gardening project

*Header image : YMCA England and Wales. Bottom image: Together Middlesbrough and Cleveland 

Ready to apply?

Once you've identified which grant is right for you, taken a look at how to apply and formed a project plan, it's potentially time to start your funding journey
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