Project I – SCVO – Community Mental Health Grant Programme

SCVO (Sandwell Council of Voluntary Organisations) is a charitable organisation, based in Sandwell, which supports Sandwell’s Voluntary and Community Sector, comprised of voluntary-run community groups, charities, not-for-profit businesses, faith communities and social enterprises.

SCVO provides the infrastructure to enable the Sector, its communities and its beneficiaries to have a strong voice and play a leading role in ensuring all residents have access to the support they need and have their say in shaping Sandwell’s future. SCVO also delivers development support to ensure that Sandwell has a strong, healthy and resilient Sector where new and established community activities can flourish.

In line with Sandwell Council’s ‘Stronger Sandwell’ approach to improving health and wellbeing, and in order to complement existing mental health provision and targeted interventions, this grant programme focuses specifically on the area of promoting positive community mental health with funding being available to support early help/preventative activities; that are run BY local people FOR local people. This programme provides both funding to resource activities and in-kind support (e.g. guidance, training, information, etc..) to build the capacity of the organisation and its staff around positive mental health.

Grants are available between £500 and £5,000 and a second round is due to be launched shortly.

In the first round of funding, the programme made seven awards as follows:

Dorothy Parkes Centre

An 8-week programme that allows people to explore the taboos of death & dying and the subsequent ‘debts of grief’ that emerge when you lose someone. A ‘taught’ programme that contains creative activities, scenarios and space for people to share their stories. A key element of delivery is working with faith communities and funeral businesses.

Location: Smethwick

Beneficiary target group: all adults (18+)

Contact: Robert Bruce – CEO / / 0121 558 2998

Life in Community CIC

‘Lifeline Listening’ – a responsive advocacy service that supports individuals and families (via telephone, group and 1-1 delivery).

LiC has multiple connections – incl. Murray Hall CT, Tipton and Rowley Children’s Centres and Healthwatch Sandwell.

Location: Tipton, Princes End

Beneficiary target group: all adults (18+)

Contact: Kelly Cranston – Director / / 07752 659257

Sandwell Community Hubs

Parent/peer-led playgroup to address mental health issues, leading to outcomes that include:

Parents being empowered to improve their situation through support to create and run the Sensory group themselves / Parents having an improved sense of purpose / Parents having routine / Parental mood positively increasing / Parental confidence improving / Providing a space to meet new people will reduce the feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Location: Cradley Heath

Beneficiary target group: adults (parents/carers) with pre-school children

Contact: Antoinette Kelly – Centre Manager / / 01384 636731

Benson Community Project

Community cycling programme – in a controlled environment (Hadley Stadium) and wider community (canal rides), including cycle loan and bike maintenance. Offering a ‘secure space’ where adults can find themselves in their own time and in their own way (all with support available).

To tackle loneliness, low level depression, low self-esteem and anxiety.

Location: Smethwick

Beneficiary target group: primarily adults (18+), but can include dependent children.

Contact: Paul Landucci – Manager / / 07882 079454

Kaleidoscope Plus Group

KPG Sanctuary Hub (signposting) and PLUS Programme – giving a deeper understanding of emotions and equipping people with a self-management portfolio of coping strategies and techniques that lead to improvements in their own mental health & wellbeing. Also offering MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) training to small businesses and wellbeing ‘tea & chat’ drop-in sessions.

Location: West Bromwich & borough-wide

Beneficiary target group: all adults (18+)

Contact: Faye Brecknock – Training Services Manager / / 07813 722499

Cape Community Day Care Centre

Parent/Guardian/Carer baby & toddler group – encouraging lone parents to socialise/interact with other parents/guardians/carers to share skills and experiences and reduce isolation. Also includes topics such as healthy eating/cultural cuisine and other health-related matters e.g. diabetes.

Location: Cape Hill, Smethwick

Beneficiary target group: adults (parents/carers/guardians – particularly lone individuals) with pre-school children.

Contact: Paulette Suban – Centre Manager / / 07957 370808

Holy Trinity, Old Hill

“Soup and Soul” and “Trinity Treasures” provide a local opportunity for attendees to meet others in a COVID- secure way that can make a difference to their socialising skills and, hopefully for some, avoid the need for escalation for more formal help.

Both aspects of the project will address these issues of isolation, low confidence / mood and provide opportunity when necessary for signposting / onward referrals to other agencies.

As well as the direct benefits to participants, the project will also give volunteers opportunities of being valued and trained.

Location: Cradley Heath & Old Hill

Beneficiary target group: ‘Soup and Soul’ – all adults / ‘Trinity Treasures’ – adults (primarily, but not exclusively, mothers) with pre-school children.

Contact: Irene Portman – Lead Community Worker / / 07960 099797