18th November 2019

Local community groups have been awarded a share of £300,000 to support people with mental health problems and dementia to stay well in their communities.

The projects will become part of Lincolnshire’s innovative Managed Care Network, a collection of community groups that offer support through various activities to help people recovering from mental ill health, or living with dementia.

Funding comes direct from the Mental Health Promotion Fund, which was established by Lincolnshire County Council and is managed by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

In total, 31 projects have benefited and will be offering a wide range of activities and groups that people with mental health problems or dementia can get involved in. Activities range from local social and friendship groups, sporting and other outdoor physical activities, through to creative therapy and support for carers.

One of the organisations benefitting for the first time this year is Don’t Lose Hope with their community garden ‘Whittle While You Whittle’. Dom Brister, Outdoor Activities Coordinator, said: “We are so excited to get this project off the ground. It will give people a chance to develop their woodworking skills while chatting about mental health in a non-threatening environment. We are looking forward to spreading the word and getting as many people involved as possible. We are confident that the group will fly when we get going and it will help people in more ways than we could ever hope.”

The Managed Care Network will also continue to support Sage Gardener, a Community Interest Company based in the heart of Lincolnshire countryside which has been offering gardening and crafts sessions for people living with mental health problems or suffering from dementia. They received funding last year to develop a range of Green Wellbeing workshops.

Group Director, Jane Newman, said: “The workshops were extremely well received and this project is now sustainable. The beneficiaries improved their wellbeing by combining different styles of exercise and working with nature.

“Our new project ‘Escape to the Woods’ will support everyone to try out unusual activities and new ideas to help them develop their own coping strategies. Fitness, gardening, forest bathing, and relaxation – there will be an option for everyone to join in, get fitter, meet new friends or simply relax amongst the trees and plants.”

Jane Marshall, Director of Strategy, Planning and Partnerships at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, added: “We are delighted that with the ninth wave of Mental Health Promotion fund we can continue to develop the support networks within our communities for people with mental health problems or dementia.

“We received more than 72 expressions of interest and unfortunately there are always more applications than funding available. Every year we have difficult decisions to make to ensure the money available is used as efficiently and effectively as possible.

“This time we concentrated on projects which promote physical activities that benefit mental health, developing befriending networks and mental health advocacy support.”

Details about all of the activities and groups are available on the Trust’s website www.lpft.nhs.uk/MCN or by following the hashtag #LincsMHnetwork on Twitter and Facebook.

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