Psychological Support Fund – Emotional Wellbeing

Voluntary Sector Support – Mental Health Funding Criteria – Psychological support for people experiencing problems with their mental health and wellbeing in relation to COVID-19

The North Cumbria Health and Care System has allocated funding for those most affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We are committed to supporting organisations and community groups who are supporting those who are isolated and vulnerable within our communities.

The effects on people’s mental health and wellbeing, particularly general anxiety and isolation (relating directly from lockdown), have increased during the pandemic and can have a debilitating effect on a person’s daily functioning and long term mental health. It can lead to individuals experiencing a range of difficulties, including problems re-engaging in local communities and activities of daily living. We want to reduce the impact of this pandemic and support groups whose work is focused on the following objectives, within the scope of providing mental health support and emotional wellbeing services in North Cumbria.

This funding is available to organisations supporting individuals, families and communities, across all age ranges, and whilst it is not exclusive to it will prioritise the following cohorts:
• People with learning disabilities and/or autism
• People experiencing homelessness or at risk of losing accommodation
• People experiencing job loss and anxiety due to financial difficulties
• Unpaid carers
• People with dual diagnosis (mental health and substance abuse)
• Clinically more vulnerable individuals (including BAME populations)
• People who are more vulnerable for other reasons (e.g. LGBT communities, victims of domestic violence)

Services should support mental health wellbeing, promote positive mental health and resilience in local communities. In addition good safeguarding knowledge and practice is essential, plus services should be able to provide one or more of the following:
•Reduce the amount of psychological distress experienced by our population, particularly in relation to loss or hardships that have been directly caused by the pandemic.
Increase the level of community-based support for those who have experienced anxiety or isolation as a result of the pandemic.
• Increase access to holistic psychological support within North Cumbria (using digital solutions where appropriate).
• Increase awareness of how to recognise an individual who requires support and how to access support when required.
• Promote self-help techniques for those dealing with anxiety and isolation, with particular emphasis on ‘train the trainer’ and peer support programmes.
• Support and develop training programmes to enable local partners to upskill their staff/volunteers using innovative and digital solutions to promote learning.

Applicants are required to:
• Have a proven track record of their ability to work in partnership with other agencies and bodies (such as landlords, social housing providers, Citizens Advice, DWP, training providers, and sporting & social groups etc.) to address the global needs of those experiencing problems with psychological wellbeing.
• Demonstrate their previous experience working with individuals or communities in providing this type of support.
• Work in partnership with other providers as part of the “North Cumbria MH collaborative” to ensure a holistic and seamless approach is provided to people who need support.
• Engage with the Connecting for People training programme.
Have engaged with local communities and service users in order to develop their funding application.

We will evaluate the effectiveness of this additional funding for the Independent Sector, via various qualitative and non-qualitative metrics. In order to evidence improved outcomes, an organisation should:
• Be able to demonstrate interventions have positively impacted on individuals mental and physical health by using measures such as, but not exclusive to, WEMWEBS, quality of life outcomes survey, self-reported reduction in demand for statutory services (primarily GP, CHOC and A&E), metrics for reducing time off work due to stress/low mood or good school attendance for children.
• Monitor referrals by source and type.
• Provide service user experience feedback
• Support self-reporting that demonstrate a reduced reliance on medication and improved behaviour related to alcohol and drug use (e.g. service user questionnaire before and after intervention support).
• Have robust governance, monitoring and evaluation processes in place.

Applicants should seek to address one or more of the five ways to mental wellbeing:
1. Connect
2. Be physically active
3. Learn new skills
4. Give to others
5. Be mindful (mindfulness – paying attention to the present moment)

Further information is available here:

At the time of application, a robust financial project cost breakdown should be provided to demonstrate value for money as well as details of the numbers of individuals and the cohorts of people that will benefit from the service.

Grant awards up to £25,000 will be considered. Collaborative applications, comprised of multiple charitable organisations, will be considered for grants in excess of £25,000.

Funding will be awarded to address and support additional needs, in response to or arising from the pandemic.

If you would like to know more about this fund please contact:
Annalee Holliday on 01900 825760 or email