Youth organisations benefiting from Thriving Minds grants and support

21 December 2022

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Almost 100 youth organisations across the UK are seeing the benefits of Thriving Minds grants.

Launched earlier this year in response to the growing youth mental health crisis, Thriving Minds saw a £10 million investment by Julia and Hans Rausing channelled into youth work to support young people. The fund was boosted by an additional £1m from the Westminster Foundation.

Thriving Minds is about positioning youth work as part of the solution to a crisis in youth mental health and recognising the role of youth work in building better support systems for young people.

The fund was open to charities or not-for-profit organisations in the UK with an annual income of less than £500,000, whose primary purpose is supporting children and young people aged 8-25.

In just three weeks, more than 1,000 applications worth over £30m a year were received. In total, 99 grantees were successful, with more than 80,000 young people being reached each year.

Projects will be supported for three years, with funds and a tailored package of extra support including workshops, training and growing communities of best practice.

Here are two examples of how grantees have benefited from Thriving Minds support:

Impact4Life Well-being CIC – Birmingham

The grant has been primarily used to purchase a van for increasing the detached youth work programmes Impact4Life run. Founder and director Shamala is a trained social worker and nutritionist, who links physical activity and eating well to mental wellbeing through her programmes. The new van is vital for carrying equipment for sports and fitness activities, and incorporates a pop-up gazebo to offer some shelter for the young people.

Shamala is able to reach more young people in a deprived area of Birmingham through Thriving Minds, and is finding the 1:1 support offered by the programme hugely beneficial. She is also enjoying the regional networking aspects introduced by Thriving Minds, in addition to the opportunities presented for further mental health learning via the training courses.

Escape Youth Services – Hawick, Scotland

Escape is a drop-in facility for young people in Hawick and the surrounding areas, providing a safe and fun environment for young people to meet – creating opportunities and supporting development.

Escape are using the grant to increase capacity around their 1:1 and group support. They have identified a gap in current provision for quieter, less confident young people accessing mental health support and services and are focusing their efforts on this target group.

Sian, a staff member from the service, also benefited from the recent Scotland networking session, where grantees were given a chance to exchange ideas and workshop issues – and learn from the experiences and knowledge of others.

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