Improving Mental Health in the Community

Our new Improving Mental Health Programme funds 8 impactful projects reaching nearly 3,000 people with tailored and targeted support over the next 3 years.

Our 2021 research report, ‘Poverty and Prosperity in Kensington + Chelsea’, identified that the borough scores in the lowest 20% of local authorities for mental health, and that isolation and loneliness is a significant issue for many residents.  Levels of anxiety are well above national and London levels, peaking just after the Grenfell Tower fire and exacerbated further by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Our new Improving Mental Health Programme funds 8 impactful projects reaching nearly 3,000 people with tailored and targeted support over the next 3 years. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we were able to raise £200,000 for the first year of the programme.

Proposals were considered by a community grants panel who assessed how well they met the aims and criteria of the fund. They were particularly looking to fund projects which demonstrated that they were community-led, collaborative, tailored to individuals’ needs and impactful. The following people sat on the Improving Mental Health panel:

  • Chris Chaney - CEO, CW+; Cynthia Dize - Trustee, K+C Foundation; Alicia Feetham - Fundraising Manager (Trusts and Foundations), Glass Door Homeless Charity; Jon Fryer – Community Engagement + Grants Manager, K+C Foundation; Souad Talsi MBE - Acting Chief Executive Officer, Al-Hasaniya Moroccan Women’s Centre; Nafsika Thalassis - Director, BME Health Forum

The following projects were selected for funding:

  • SMART: Two new social enterprises – a Micro-Bakery and a DIY Project – through which 250 clients affected by mental ill-health can develop confidence and employability skills (£18,000/year)
  • Dalgarno: An activity programme for 60 isolated and hard to reach residents on a deprived North Kensington estate building confidence and social networks whilst reducing anxiety and loneliness (£20,000/year)
  • St. Cuthbert’s Centre:  A daily 3-course table-service lunch reaching 1,200 vulnerable residents a year, with wraparound support services tackling issues such as addiction, mental health, and housing (£25,000/year)
  • ACAVA:  A Men’s Shed community workshop offering 650 socially isolated older men an opportunity to participate in Tinkering Sessions to build skills, confidence and relationships (£30,000/year)
  • Latimer Community Art Therapy: An art psychotherapy programme offering group sessions and individual support in schools and community groups to 120 children and adolescents struggling with mental health (£32,000/year)
  • One Community: A user-led activity programme for 100 residents recovering from mental ill-health both in and out of hospital, including gardening projects, play-reading sessions and beauty workshops (£33,000/year)
  • Migrants Organise: A holistic support programme for 300 refugees and asylum seekers living with severe and complex mental health conditions as a result of their experiences (£18,000/year)
  • Outside Edge Theatre Company: A weekly script-writing workshop for 150 residents affected by mental ill-health and addiction (£20,000/year)